Sulfidation Corrosion Causes Headaches, Unexpected Outages

Sulfidation Corrosion is a main source for causing leaks in piping and pressure vessels in the crude oil industry.  Sulfidation Corrosion can lead to unplanned outages, large property losses and even injuries due to the naturally occurring sulfur compounds found in crude oil. 

 Most industry incidents have occurred in piping components, due to their thinner overall wall thickness and their higher population density. 
  Corrosion is evident on all internal surfaces of the tubes, with more severe corrosion shown in the outlet segment. Image couresty of Oil and GAs Journal, www.ogj.com. 

Corrosion is evident on all internal surfaces of the tubes, with more severe corrosion shown in the outlet segment. Image couresty of Oil and GAs Journal, www.ogj.com. 

Sulfidation Corrosion (also known as sulfidic corrosion) could be affecting your piping and pressure vessels through thinning. It is one of the most common damage mechanisms in the refining and chemical processing industry. At Space Science Services, we use NDT technology to assess the level of thickness that is remaining in your piping and vessels to help prevent these worst-case scenarios. 

WHAT IS SULFIDATION CORROSION
Sulifdation Corrosion is a result of naturally occurring sulfur compounds found in crude oil. In the absence of hydrogen, corrosion due to sulfur compounds in the crude is thought to occur at temperatures above 500°F (260 °C). Up to that temperature, corrosion rates due to sulfidation are relatively low, even for carbon steels, unless there is naphthenic acid present in the crude. High temperature sulfidation is one of the most well-known corrosion mechanisms in the oil refining industry because it can occur in multiple sections of the refinery. [Reference]

The majority of sulfidation corrosion cases can be localized, however, the majority of cases exhibit general thinning over large surface areas. Cracks and breakage are possible when thinning occurs, which can lead to the potential release of large streams. Contact us now before you experience problems with your piping and pressure vessels. 

Contact Space Science Services at dfrith@spacescienceservices.com for a custom quote.