Full Content is available to subscribers

Subscribe/Learn More  >

Premature Degradation and Failure of Steam-Methane Reformer Heater System Components

[+] Author Affiliations
John J. Aumuller

Engineering Design & Analysis Ltd., Edmonton, AB, Canada

Vincent Carucci

Carmagen Engineering Inc., Rockaway, NJ

Paper No. PVP2018-84006, pp. V03BT03A008; 9 pages
  • ASME 2018 Pressure Vessels and Piping Conference
  • Volume 3B: Design and Analysis
  • Prague, Czech Republic, July 15–20, 2018
  • Conference Sponsors: Pressure Vessels and Piping Division
  • ISBN: 978-0-7918-5163-0
  • Copyright © 2018 by ASME


Bulk hydrogen production in a petroleum refinery by steam–methane reforming utilizes high temperatures, moderate pressures and catalyst – filled tubes which generate high tube temperatures of up to 1,690 °F [920 °C] imposing relatively harsh performance demands on system components which are not usually encountered in other refinery or petrochemical plant equipment.

Creep rupture and high temperature cycling place a severe service duty on the catalyst tubes, tube outlet pigtails, the subheader train and the downstream steam generator leading to ruptured pigtails, cracking in sub-headers and break up of the ceramic tube sheet ferrules at the steam generator inlet tubesheet.

Although the industry has developed specific fit-for-purpose design practice standards augmented with detailed technical reports, reliability issues persist and regularly force premature shutdown of the reformer heater and downstream heat recovery equipment.

Among these practices are API Standard 530 and API TR 942-A. API 530 assists designers in the selection of materials and determination of pressure design thickness of heater tubes while API TR 942-A attempts to reconcile the contradictory industry experience where some operators have little or no problems while others suffer premature degradation and cracking of outlet pigtails and manifold components.

A reconciliation between application of industry design practices and equipment performance is presented in this paper to determine whether systemic issues contribute to the apparent situation; and, recommendations are made for pressure component design and material selection for steam-methane reformers.

Copyright © 2018 by ASME
Topics: Failure , Methane , Steam



Interactive Graphics


Country-Specific Mortality and Growth Failure in Infancy and Yound Children and Association With Material Stature

Use interactive graphics and maps to view and sort country-specific infant and early dhildhood mortality and growth failure data and their association with maternal

Citing articles are presented as examples only. In non-demo SCM6 implementation, integration with CrossRef’s "Cited By" API will populate this tab (http://www.crossref.org/citedby.html).

Some tools below are only available to our subscribers or users with an online account.

Related Content

Customize your page view by dragging and repositioning the boxes below.

Related eBook Content
Topic Collections

Sorry! You do not have access to this content. For assistance or to subscribe, please contact us:

  • TELEPHONE: 1-800-843-2763 (Toll-free in the USA)
  • EMAIL: asmedigitalcollection@asme.org
Sign In