Detecting and managing High Temperature Hydrogen Attack

Productive and profitable industrial plants rely on safe, reliable equipment to sustain expected production levels and quality standards. High temperature hydrogen attack (HTHA) can cause serious damage such as decarburization and micro-cracking in steels exposed to hydrogen at elevated temperatures and high pressure. Such damage can negatively affect tensile strength and toughness and ultimately cause failure without warning, as was the case in the disastrous 2010 Tesoro Anacortes refinery incident, where the shell of a heat exchanger ruptured catastrophically, killing seven workers.

New publication EEMUA 240 (Edition1), ‘Factors to consider when managing High Temperature Hydrogen Attack on petroleum and chemical facilities’, provides guidance on the key elements of managing HTHA and provides a checklist of issues that have been identified. It aims to supplement company policies and procedures and assist facility personnel to manage equipment exposed to HTHA. The guidance is intended to advance the discussion with regulators as to what constitutes good practice in this key area.

EEMUA’s seminar on 20 June 2019, developed by operators of major refineries across Europe sitting as EEMUA’s HTHA Forum, aims to help disseminate developments in the field of HTHA NDE, FFS and design considerations. Attendees will hear input from the UK Regulator, European and US operators, leading NDT houses, materials research specialists and academics, among others, discussing the most recent work in the field. This event is aimed all those responsible for maintaining integrity of physical assets under hydrogen service at elevated temperatures.

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