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Bulging Patterns of Coke Drums

[+] Author Affiliations
Mahmod Samman

Houston Engineering Solutions, LLC, Houston, TX

Paper No. PVP2016-63812, pp. V003T03A065; 6 pages
  • ASME 2016 Pressure Vessels and Piping Conference
  • Volume 3: Design and Analysis
  • Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, July 17–21, 2016
  • Conference Sponsors: Pressure Vessels and Piping Division
  • ISBN: 978-0-7918-5039-8
  • Copyright © 2016 by ASME


One of the most common defects in coke drums is bulging, which is a non-uniform radial growth of the shell. Bulging often leads to cracks that occasionally result in leaks and fires. Drum bulging and cracking often cause unplanned outages, costly repairs, and premature replacement.

Bulging is commonly treated as a single phenomenon that is caused by one failure mechanism. In this study, we examine this assumption using a database of one hundred and eighty four laser scans obtained from operational coke drums that vary in location, metallurgy, age, size, and wall thickness. Based on the study, we identified nine types of bulges and related them to loading mechanisms, design features, operating practices, and fabrication processes that likely contribute to their formation. This new understanding of bulging types and causes should help design, fabricate, and operate coke drums informed manner.

Copyright © 2016 by ASME
Topics: Coke



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