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- Weakening of a material caused by repeatedly
Key Learning Objectives applied loads
- Fatigue failure is likely to occur in equipment
 Mechanical and chemical properties that must be
subject to cyclic loading
considered when selecting materials of construction
6. Creep
for a chemical plant
- Creep is the gradual extension of a material
 Relative costs of common materials of construction
under a steady tensile stress, over a prolonged
 Properties of alloys commonly used in engineering
period of time.
 When to use polymers or ceramic materials
1. Uniform corrosion
* For the chemical process plant, considerations are given
- The term uniform corrosion describes the more
usually to high temperature strength and the ability to resist
or less uniform wastage of material by corrosion,
with no pitting or other forms of local attack.
The most important characteristics to be considered when 2. Galvanic corrosion
selecting a material of construction are the following: - If dissimilar metals are placed in contact, in an
electrolyte, the corrosion rate of the anodic metal
1. Mechanical properties; will be increased, as the metal lower in the
a) Strength–tensile strength; electrochemical series will readily act as a
b) Stiffness–elastic modulus (Young’s modulus); cathode.
c) Toughness–fracture resistance; 3. Pitting
d) Hardness–wear resistance; - Pitting is the term given to very localized
e) Fatigue resistance; corrosion that forms pits in the metal surface.
f) Creep resistance. 4. Intergranular corrosion
2. The effect of high temperature, low temperature, and - Intergranular corrosion is the preferential
thermal cycling on the mechanical properties; corrosion of material at the grain (crystal)
3. Corrosion resistance; boundaries.
4. Any special properties required, such as thermal 5. Stress corrosion
conductivity, electrical resistance, magnetic - Corrosion rate and the form of attack can be
properties; changed if the material is under stress. Some
5. Ease of fabrication—forming, welding, casting combinations of metal, corrosive media, and
6. Availability in standard sizes—plates, sections, tubes; temperature, the phenomenon called stress
7. Cost. corrosion cracking can occur. This is the general
name given to a form of attack in which cracks
MECHANICAL PROPERTIES are produced that grow rapidly, and can cause
premature, brittle failure of the metal.
1. Tensile Strength
6. Erosion – corrosion
- The tensile strength (tensile stress) is a measure
- The term erosion-corrosion is used to describe
of the basic strength of a material. It is the
the increased rate of attack caused by a
maximum stress that the material will withstand,
combination of erosion and corrosion.
measured by a standard tensile test.
7. Corrosion fatigue
2. Stiffness
8. High – temperature oxidation and sulfidation;
- Stiffness is the ability to resist bending and
- Corrosion is normally associated with aqueous
solutions but oxidation can occur in dry
3. Toughness
conditions. Carbon and low alloy steels will
- Toughness is associated with tensile strength,
oxidize rapidly at high temperatures, and their
and is a measure of the material’s resistance to
use is limited to temperatures below 480℃
crack propagation.
4. Hardness
9. Hydrogen embrittlement
- The surface hardness, as measured in a standard
- Hydrogen embrittlement is the name given to the
test, is an indication of a material’s ability to
loss of ductility caused by the absorption (and
resist wear.
reaction) of hydrogen in a metal.
COMMONLY USED MATERIALS OF  A ranking in order of increasing corrosion resistance:


 Low carbon steel (mild steel) is the most commonly

used engineering material
 Cheap  Good mechanical properties and can easily be
 Can be easily worked and welded worked
 Good tensile strength and ductility  Its alloys are preferred for chemical plants
 Not subject to corrosion cracking like stainless steel

 nickel-copper alloy with the metals in the ratio 2:1
 Low Carbon Steel (Mild Steel)
 easily worked on with good mechanical properties up
- Typically contain 0.04% to 0.30% carbon
to 500℃
 not susceptible to stress corrosion cracking in
 Medium Carbon Steel
chloride solutions
- Typically has a carbon range of 0.31% to 0.60%
and a manganese content of 0.060% to 1.65% INCONEL AND INCOLOY
 High Carbon Steel
- Commonly known as “carbon tool steel”  Inconel (typically 76% Ni, 7% Fe, 15% Cr) is used
- Typically has a carbon range between 0.61% to primarily for acid resistance at high temperatures –
1.50% not suitable for use in sulfidizing environments
- It is very hard to cut, bend and weld  Incoloy is a nickel alloy with higher Cr content
- Once heat – treated, it becomes extremely hard (Incoloy 800 is 20% Cr and RA33 is 25% Cr) have
and brittle better oxidation resistance


 Most frequently used corrosion-resistant materials in  Main alloys of copper are the brasses, alloyed with
the chemical industry zinc, and the bronzes, alloyed with tin
 Chromium content must be above 12% to impart  Resistant to caustic alkalis, except ammonia, and to
corrosion resistance in oxidizing conditions many organic acids and salts
 It is added to improve the corrosion resistance in non  Relatively soft, very easy to work on, and used
– oxidizing environments extensively for small-bore pipes and tubes
 They can be divided into three broad classes  Copper is attacked by mineral acids, except cold,
according to their microstructure: dilute, un – aerated sulfuric acid
1. Ferritic: 13–20% Cr, <0.1% C, with no nickel  Main use in the chemical industry is for valves and
2. Austenitic: 18–20% Cr, >7% Ni other small fittings, and for heat exchanger tubes and
3. Martensitic: 12–14% Cr, 0.2 to 0.4% C, up to tube sheets
2% Ni
 The uniform structure of Austenite (face-centered HASTELLOYS
cubic, with the carbides in solution) is the structure
desired for corrosion resistance, and it is these grades  The trade name Hastelloy covers a range of nickel,
that are widely used in the chemical industry. chromium, molybdenum iron alloys that were
developed for corrosion resistance to strong mineral
 Austenitic stainless steels have greater strength than
acids, particularly HCl.
plain carbon steels:

 Pure aluminum lacks mechanical strength but has

higher resistance to corrosion than its alloys.
 The main structural alloys used are the Duralumin
(Dural) range of aluminum – copper alloys (typical
composition 4% Cu, with 0.5% Mg) which have a 2. Thermosetting materials, which have a rigid,
tensile strength equivalent to that of mild steel cross-linked structure; for example, the polyester
and epoxy resins.
 Polyvinyl Chloride (PVC)
 It is a soft, ductile material and is mainly used in the
 Polyolefins
form of sheets (as linings) or pipe.
 Polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE)
 It has a good resistance to acids, particularly sulfuric.  Polyvinylidene Fluoride (PVDF)
TITANIUM  Glass – Fiber – Reinforced Plastics (GRP)
 Rubber
 used quite widely in the chemical industry, mainly
for its resistance to chloride solutions
Ceramics are compounds of non – metallic elements and
include the following materials used for chemical plant:
 The corrosion resistance of tantalum is similar to that
 Glass, the borosilicate glasses (hard glass)
of glass, and it has been called a metallic glass.
 Stoneware
ZIRCONIUM  Acid-resistant bricks and tiles
 Refractory materials
 used in the nuclear industry because of their low  Cements and concrete
neutron absorption cross-section and resistance to hot
water at high pressures Ceramic materials have a cross-linked structure and are
therefore brittle.

 Silver linings are used for vessels and equipment

handling hydrofluoric acid. CHAPTER CONTENT
 It is also used for special applications in the food and
pharmaceutical industries where it is vital to avoid  Piping Design and Sizing
contamination of the product.  Storage Tank Design
 Pressure Vessel
GOLD  Materials Handling
 Chemical Reactors
 Highly resistant to attack by dilute nitric acid and hot
 Pumps
concentrated sulfuric acid, but is dissolved by aqua
 Heat Transfer Equipment
regia (a mixture of concentrated nitric and sulfuric
 Mass Transfer Equipment

 has a high resistance to oxidation at high temperature
 The circular shape of a pipe offers a greater structural
strength and greater cross sectional area per unit of
PLASTICS wall surface
 The “Darcy Formula” – a.k.a. Darcy – Weisbach
 Corrosion-resistant materials for chemical plant formula and/or Weisbach Formula
construction  Viscosity
 Widely used in food processing and biochemical o Dynamic or Absolute Viscosity (Pa-s); also
plants known as poiseuille (PI); Poise (P) or
 Can be divided into two broad classes: centipoise (cP)
1. Thermoplastic materials, which soften with o Kinematic Viscosity (m2/s in SI and Stokes
increasing temperature; for example, polyvinyl in cgs) – ratio of dynamic viscosity to the
chloride (PVC) and polyethylene. density
o Density
 The Darcy – Weisbach equation is an equation  Power boiler piping that conforms to ASME
which relates the head loss, or pressure loss, due B31.1 and power boilers that conform to ASME
to friction along a given length of pipe to the Boiler and Pressure Vessel Code Section I;
average velocity of the fluid flow for an  Tubes, tube headers, and manifolds of fired
incompressible liquid. heaters that are internal to the heater enclosure;
 Pressure Loss Darcy Weisbach Equation  Internal piping and external pipe connections of
𝑓𝑑 𝐿𝜌𝑉 2 pressure vessels, heat exchangers, pumps,
∆𝑝 =
2𝐷 compressors, and other fluid handling or process
Where: ∆𝑝 = 𝑝𝑟𝑒𝑠𝑠𝑢𝑟𝑒 𝑙𝑜𝑠𝑠 𝑖𝑛  Wall Thickness: Pipe Schedule
 The pipe wall thickness is selected to resist the
𝑓𝑑 = 𝑑𝑎𝑟𝑐𝑦 𝑓𝑟𝑖𝑐𝑡𝑖𝑜𝑛 𝑓𝑎𝑐𝑡𝑜𝑟 internal pressure, with allowances for corrosion,
erosion, and other mechanical allowances for
𝐿 = 𝑝𝑖𝑝𝑒 𝑙𝑒𝑛𝑔𝑡ℎ 𝑖𝑛 𝑚
pipe threads, etc.
𝐷 = ℎ𝑦𝑑𝑟𝑎𝑢𝑙𝑖𝑐 𝑑𝑖𝑎𝑚𝑒𝑡𝑒𝑟 𝑖𝑛 𝑚  The ASME B31.3 code gives the following
formula for pipe thickness:
𝑉 = 𝑓𝑙𝑢𝑖𝑑 𝑓𝑙𝑜𝑤 𝑎𝑣𝑒𝑟𝑎𝑔𝑒 𝑣𝑒𝑙𝑜𝑐𝑖𝑡𝑦 𝑖𝑛 𝑚/𝑠

𝜌 = 𝑓𝑙𝑢𝑖𝑑 𝑑𝑒𝑛𝑠𝑖𝑡𝑦

 The principal design codes used for piping design are

the ANSI/ASME B31.1 (Code for Power Piping) and
ANSI/ASME B31.3 (Code for Process Piping).
 “sizing” – determining the proper diameter of a pipe
 Optimization of the pipe size: pressure drop is the
driving force, not the fluid velocity

 Pipe supports
- pipes are usually carried on pipe racks if they are
designed to cover long runs
 Pipe Fittings
- Standard fittings for joints, bends, and lees are
normally incorporated
- Joints are usually welded, but small sizes may be
- Flanged joints are used where this is a more
convenient method of assembly, or if the joint
will have to be frequently broken for
 Piping system design codes ASME B31.3 code
applies to:  Pipe Stressing
 Piping for raw, intermediate, and finished - Piping systems must be designed so as not to
chemicals impose unacceptable stresses on the equipment
 Petroleum products to which they are connected.
 Gas stream, air, and water - Loads will arise from:
 Fluidized solids  Thermal expansion of the pipes and
 Refrigerants and cryogenic fluids equipment;
 The weight of the pipes, their contents,
 ASME B31.3 does not apply to:
insulation, and any ancillary equipment;
 Piping systems designed for pressures less than
 The reaction to the fluid pressure drop;
15 psi gage that handle fluids that are non–
 Loads imposed by the operation of ancillary
flammable, nontoxic, and not damaging to
equipment, such as relief valves;
human tissues and are at temperatures between
 Vibration
29℃ (20℉) and 186℃ (366℉);
 Pipe Size Selection
 The smallest pipe diameter that can deliver the
required flow rate is normally used when
sufficient head for gravity flow is present
 If the fluid has to be pumped through the pipe,
the size should be selected to give the least total
annualized cost.
 The capital cost at a pipe run increases with
diameter, whereas the pumping costs decrease
with increasing diameter
 Typical pipe velocities and allowable pressure
drops, which can be used to estimate pipe sizes,
are as follows:

 Several authors have published formulae and

nomographs for the estimation of economic pipe
o Genereaux (1937)
o Peters and Timmerhaus (1968, 1991)
o Nolte (1978)
o Capps (1995)
 Valve Selection
- Two broad classes of valves (depending on their
primary function)
1. Shut – off valves (block valves or isolation
valves) – purpose is to close off the flow
2. Control Valves (Manual or automatic) – used to
regulate flow
 Main Types of Valves used:
- Gate
- Plug
- Ball
- Globe
- Diaphragm
- Butterfly
- Nonreturn

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