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Engineering Encyclopedia

Saudi Aramco DeskTop Standards

PROCESS HEATERS – PURPOSE


and CONSTRUCTION

Note: The source of the technical material in this volume is the Professional
Engineering Development Program (PEDP) of Engineering Services.
Warning: The material contained in this document was developed for Saudi
Aramco and is intended for the exclusive use of Saudi Aramco’s employees.
Any material contained in this document which is not already in the public
domain may not be copied, reproduced, sold, given, or disclosed to third
parties, or otherwise used in whole, or in part, without the written permission
of the Vice President, Engineering Services, Saudi Aramco.

Chapter : Mechanical For additional information on this subject, contact


File Reference: MEX-105.01 PEDD Coordinator on 874-6556
Engineering Encyclopedia Inroduction to Process Heaters

Process Heaters – Purpose and Construction

Section Page

INTRODUCTION............................................................................................................. 8

PRINCIPLES OF COMBUSTION.................................................................................... 8
Explosive/Flammability Limits............................................................................... 8
Heats of Combustion .......................................................................................... 10
Low Heating Value - High Heating Value............................................................ 11
Heating Value Calculation .................................................................................. 14
Example Problem 1.................................................................................. 14
Example Problem 2.................................................................................. 16

HEAT TRANSFER MECHANISMS ............................................................................... 17


Radiation ............................................................................................................ 18
Convection.......................................................................................................... 19
Conduction ......................................................................................................... 20
Heat Transfer Resistance ................................................................................... 21
Calculating Maximum Tube Metal Temperatures ............................................... 23
Example Problem 3.................................................................................. 28

PURPOSE AND USE OF PROCESS HEATERS.......................................................... 34


Charge Heaters .................................................................................................. 35
Reboilers ............................................................................................................ 36
Reaction Temperature Control ........................................................................... 36

PROCESS HEATER TYPES......................................................................................... 37


Direct Fired/Fire Tube......................................................................................... 37
Cylindrical/Cabin................................................................................................. 38
Advantages.............................................................................................. 39

MAJOR COMPONENTS AND SYSTEMS .................................................................... 41

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Cylindrical Heaters - Tubes and Headers ........................................................... 42


Cabin/Box Heaters - Tubes and Headers ........................................................... 44
Radiant Tube Hangers and Guides .................................................................... 46
Convection Tube Hangers .................................................................................. 52
Insulation And Refractory ................................................................................... 53
Refractory Installation......................................................................................... 56
Brick Construction.................................................................................... 56
Castable Refractory ................................................................................. 62
Ceramic Fiber .......................................................................................... 69
External Insulation ................................................................................... 74
Criteria for Selection ................................................................................ 74
Casing/Shell ....................................................................................................... 78
Flue Gas Ducts and Stack .................................................................................. 78
Draft.................................................................................................................... 78
Draft/Stack Height.................................................................................... 79
Draft Control (Natural Draft)..................................................................... 80
Air Preheater ...................................................................................................... 84
Fuel Gas System and Burners............................................................................ 86
Purge Steam/Smothering System ...................................................................... 89
Material Requirements ....................................................................................... 90
Tube Material Selection ........................................................................... 90
Example Problem 4.................................................................................. 92
Typical Tube Material............................................................................... 93
Tube/Pipe Specifications ......................................................................... 94

FURNACE TUBE DESIGN............................................................................................ 95


New Tube Minimum Thickness........................................................................... 96

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Minimum Corrosion Allowance ........................................................................... 97


Design Conditions .............................................................................................. 97
Tubewall Thickness ............................................................................................ 98
Elastic Stress Design ............................................................................... 99
Stress Rupture Design........................................................................... 100
Example Problem 5................................................................................ 102

ESTIMATION OF REMAINING TUBE LIFE ................................................................ 103


Example Problem 6................................................................................ 105
Example Problem 7................................................................................ 107
Tube Retirement Decision ................................................................................ 111
Safety Instruction Sheet ................................................................................... 111

WORK AID 1: RESOURCES USED TO CALCULATE HEATING VALUE ................. 112

WORK AID 2: RESOURCES USED TO SELECT MATERIAL


FOR HYDROGEN SERVICE................................................................ 113

WORK AID 3: RESOURCES USED TO CALCULATE TUBE WALL THICKNESS .... 114

Work Aid 3A: Procedure to Calculate Tube Wall Thickness ............................ 114

Work Aid 3B: Tabular List of Tube Material Elastic


and Creep-Rupture Stresses ................................................. 117

Work Aid 3C: Graph to Determine Rupture Exponent ..................................... 118

Work Aid 3D: Graph to Determine Corrosion Fraction..................................... 119

Work Aid 3E: Graphs of Tube Material Elastic and Creep-Rupture Stresses .. 120

Work Aid 3E-1: Medium Carbon Steel ASTM A 53 GRADE B


(Seamless) A 106 Grade B, A210 Grade A-1 ........................ 120

Work Aid 3E-2: 1¼Cr – ½Mo Steel, ASTM A 213 T11,


A 335 P11, A200 T11 ............................................................ 121

Work Aid 3E-3: 2¼Cr – 1Mo Steel, ASTM A 213 T22,


A 335 P22, A 200 T22 ........................................................... 122

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Work Aid 3E-4: 5Cr–½Mo Steel, ASTM A 213 T5, A 335 P5, A 200 T5 .......... 123

Work Aid 3E-5: 9Cr – 1Mo Steel, ASTM A 213 T9, A 335 P9, A 200 T9 ......... 124

Work Aid 3E-6: Types 304 and 304H Stainless Steel,


ASTM A 213, A 271, A 312, A 376 ........................................ 125

Work Aid 3E-7: Types 347 AND 347H Stainless Steel,


ASTM A 213, A 271, A 312, A 376 ........................................ 126

WORK AID 4: RESOURCES USED TO ESTIMATE REMAINING TUBE LIFE.......... 127

GLOSSARY ................................................................................................................ 131

ADDENDUM A: SAUDI ARAMCO FORM 2731 ......................................................... 135

ADDENDUM B: STACK EFFECT............................................................................... 136

ADDENDUM C: HEATER DESIGN BASIS ................................................................. 137

REFERENCES............................................................................................................ 138

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List of Figures

Figure 1. Heat of Combustion of Paraffin and Olefin Gases......................................... 12


Figure 2. Heat of Combustion of Fuel Oils and Petroleum Fractions ........................... 13
Figure 3. Heat Transfer Resistance.............................................................................. 21
Figure 4. Temperature Profile ...................................................................................... 24
Figure 5. Tube Cross Section....................................................................................... 27
Figure 6. Ratio of Maximum Local-to-Average Heat Flux............................................. 32
Figure 7. Crude Unit - Ras Tanura Refinery................................................................. 35
Figure 8. Example of Vertical Cylindrical Direct Fired Furnaces................................... 38
Figure 9. Example of Cabin Direct Fired Furnace ........................................................ 38
Figure 10. Saudi Aramco Vertical Cylindrical Furnaces ............................................... 40
Figure 11. Furnace Components.................................................................................. 41
Figure 12. Vertical Cylindrical Furnace - Internal View................................................. 42
Figure 13. Types of Extended Surfaces ....................................................................... 43
Figure 14. Typical Furnace Types ................................................................................ 44
Figure 15. Cabin Furnace - Internal View..................................................................... 45
Figure 16. Support for Horizontal Tubes ...................................................................... 48
Figure 17. Radiant Section Tube Top Support ............................................................. 49
Figure 18. Radiant Section Bottom Tube Guide........................................................... 50
Figure 19. Radiant Section Tube Guide ....................................................................... 51
Figure 20. Typical Convection Section Tube Support .................................................. 52
Figure 21. Typical Refractory Components In Furnaces .............................................. 54
Figure 22. Typical Insulating Firebrick (IFB) System ..................................................... 57
Figure 23. Typical Tieback Details ................................................................................ 59
Figure 24. Castable Refractory Lining Systems ............................................................ 63
Figure 25. Typical Anchors for Castable Linings ........................................................... 65

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Figure 26. Typical Anchor Arrangements for Castable Linings ..................................... 66


Figure 27. Typical Ceramic Fiber Lining Detail 1........................................................... 70
Figure 28. Typical Ceramic Fiber Lining Detail 2........................................................... 71
Figure 29. Typical Ceramic Fiber Anchors .................................................................... 73
Figure 30. Typical Patterns for Ceramic Fiber Lining .................................................... 73
Figure 31. Fuel Gas Pressure Gains and Losses......................................................... 81
Figure 32. Furnace Natural Draft Profile....................................................................... 83
Figure 33. Air Preheaters – Elements of a Rotary Regenerative Air Heater.................. 85
Figure 34. Air Preheaters – Diagrammatic Illustration of Rotary Regenerative Air
Heater (Vertical Shaft Arrangement) With Gas and Air Counterflow .......... 85
Figure 35. Fuel Gas System Naphtha Reforming Unit ................................................. 87
Figure 36. Typical Burner Arrangements - Elevation View ........................................... 88
Figure 37. Operating Limits For Steels In Hydrogen Service ..................................... 113
Figure 38. Rupture Exponent ..................................................................................... 118
Figure 39. Corrosion Fraction..................................................................................... 119
Figure 40. Medium Carbon Steel ASTM A 53 GRADE B ........................................... 120
Figure 41. 1¼Cr – ½Mo Steel, ASTM A 213 T11, A 335 P11, A200 T11................... 121
Figure 42. 2¼Cr - 1Mo Steel, ASTM A 213 T22, A 335 P22, A 200 T22.................... 122
Figure 43. 5Cr-½Mo Steel, ASTM A 213 T5, A 335 P5, A 200 T5 ............................. 123
Figure 44. 9Cr - 1Mo Steel, ASTM A 213 T9, A 335 P9, A 200 T9 ............................ 124
Figure 45. Types 304 and 304H Stainless Steel, ASTM A 213, A 271, A312,
A 376 ........................................................................................................ 125
Figure 46. Types 347 and 347H Stainless Steel, ASTM A 213, A 271, A 312,
A 376 ........................................................................................................ 126
Table 18. Saudi Aramco Form 2731 - Fired Heaters.................................................. 135
Figure 47. Stack Effect ............................................................................................... 136

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List of Tables

Table 1. Limits of Flammability of Gases and Vapors, Percent in Air. ............................ 9

Table 2. Combustion Equations ................................................................................... 10

Table 3. Calculate Heats of Combustion ...................................................................... 14

Table 4. Heats of Combustion, Btu/ft3 .......................................................................... 15

Table 5. Calculate LHV, Btu/ft3 ..................................................................................... 16

Table 6. Longitudinal Heat Flux Variation (FL).............................................................. 33

Table 7. Saudi Aramco Furnaces ................................................................................. 34

Table 8. Furnace Categories........................................................................................ 37

Table 9. Comparison of Cylindrical and Cabin Furnaces ............................................. 39

Table 10. Maximum Design Temperatures for Tube Support Materials ....................... 46

Table 11. Castable Refractory Types ........................................................................... 62

Table 12. Selecting Refractory Lining Systems ............................................................ 74

Table 13. Criteria For Lining Systems for Sulfur Containing Fuels ............................... 75

Table 14. Examples of Saudi Aramco Fuels and Refractories ..................................... 77

Table 15. Material Requirements ................................................................................. 90

Table 16. Recommended Lower Limit on the Minimum Thickness of New Tubes ....... 96

Table 17. Furnace Tube Materials.............................................................................. 117

Table 18. Saudi Aramco Form 2731 - Fired Heaters.................................................. 135

Table 19. Heater Maximum Design Basis (SAES-F-001) and Fouling Factors .......... 137

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INTRODUCTION
Furnaces combust fuel to supply heat to the process. The word
furnace and heater will be used interchangeably in this course.

PRINCIPLES OF COMBUSTION
Combustion is the process of burning (oxidation) of a flammable
material in air. The principles of combustion including limits of
flammability and heats of combustion will be reviewed first since
heaters require combustion.

Explosive/Flammability Limits
Gaseous mixtures of flammable materials, such as
hydrocarbons and air, have certain concentration ranges in
which they are combustible. A mixture that is too dilute or too
rich in the flammable material will not ignite. The limits are called
lower explosive limit (LEL) and upper explosive limit (UEL) and
are they measured at ambient temperature and pressure.
Increasing temperature or pressure reduces the LEL and raises
the UEL, widening the range in which flammability can occur.
The limits are different for different substances. Table 1 shows
typical values for LEL and UEL of various refinery components
measured as volume percent hydrocarbon in air.
Control of furnaces (including heaters) involves control of
flammability and combustion to release heat. When starting a
furnace, the furnace conditions must be below the limit of
flammability before flame is introduced into the furnace to avoid
explosions. Operation of furnaces requires maintaining furnace
conditions within the limits of flammability in order to burn fuel.
The limits of flammability of mixtures are calculated by
calculating a volumetric (molar) average flammability limits for
the mixture.

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Gas or Vapor Vol% in Air


Lower Upper
Hydrogen 4.00 75.0
Carbon Monoxide 12.50 74.0
Ammonia 15.50 26.60
Hydrogen Sulfide 4.30 45.50
Carbon Disulfide 1.25 44.0
Methane 5.30 14.0
Ethane 3.00 12.5
Propane 2.20 9.5
Butane 1.90 8.5
Iso-butane 1.80 8.4
Pentane 1.50 7.80
Iso-pentane 1.40 7.6
Hexane 1.20 7.5
Heptane 1.20 6.7
Octane 1.00 3.20
Nonane 0.83 2.90
Decane 0.67 2.60
Dodecane 0.60 --
Tetradecane 0.50 --
Ethylene 3.1 32.0
Propylene 2.4 10.3
Butadiene 2.00 11.50
Butylene 1.98 9.65
Amylene 1.65 7.70
Acetylene 2.50 81.00
Allylene 1.74 --
Benzene 1.4 7.1
Toluene 1.27 6.75
Styrene 1.10 6.10
o-Xylene 1.00 6.00
Naphthalene 0.90 --
Anthracene 0.63 --
Cyclo-propane 2.40 10.4
Cyclo-hexene 1.22 4.81
Cyclo-hexane 1.30 8.0
Methyl cyclo-hexane 1.20 --
Gasoline-Regular 1.40 7.50
Gasoline-73 Octane 1.50 7.40
Gasoline-92 Octane 1.50 7.60
Gasoline-100 Octane 1.45 7.50
Naphtha 1.10 6.00
Note: More complete tables of data are included in Appendix of "Gaseous Fuels"
published by A.G.A., 1954 (10)

Table 1. Limits of Flammability of Gases and Vapors, Percent in Air.

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Heats of Combustion
The heating value or heat of combustion is the amount of heat
liberated when an amount of fuel is burned. The heating value
of a fuel gas or a flue gas can be calculated from the chemical
equations given in Table 2 and the composition of the gas. The
heating value is calculated using the equation and the heats of
formation for each chemical species. The heating value of a
mixture is determined by calculating the volumetric (mole)
average heating value of the mixture if the heating values are in
Btu/cf. Use weight average heating values if the heating values
are in Btu/lb.

Heating Value (Btu/lb)


HHV LHV

H2 + 1/2 O2 = H20 61,100 51,600

C + O2 = CO2 14,093 14,093

C + 1/2 O2 = CO 4,440 4,440

CO + 1/2 O2 = CO2 4,345 4,345

S + O2 = SO2 10,160 10,160

CH4 + 2 O2 = CO2 + 2 H2O 23,885 21,500

C2H6 + 3 1/2 O2 = 2 CO2 + 3 H2O 22,263 20,370

C3H8 + 5 O2 = 3 CO2 + 4 H2O 21,646 19,929

C4H10 + 6 1/2 O2 = 4 CO2 + 5 H2O 21,293 19,665

Table 2. Combustion Equations

Note that where no water is formed, the HHV and LHV are the
same. Using the composition of air as 21% O2 and 79% N2, the
above equations can be used to calculate the amount of air
required for 100% combustion by making a molar material
balance.

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Low Heating Value - High Heating Value


The heat liberated when one pound of fuel at 60ºF is burned,
and the combustion products are cooled to 60ºF without
condensing water is called the lower heating value (LHV) or net
heating value. If the water produced by the combustion is
condensed the higher heating value (HHV) or gross heating
value is obtained. Since process furnaces do not condense the
water of combustion, furnace calculations are usually performed
on a LHV basis. The heating value of a fuel gas can be
calculated from its analysis and the component heating values.
Typical refinery fuel gas heating values as a function of their
molecular weight are given in Figure 1. Heating values for
typical refinery fuel oils as a function of their API gravity are
given in Figure 2.

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Source: Maxwell, Data Book on Hydrocarbons, page 18.

Figure 1. Heat of Combustion of Paraffin and Olefin Gases

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Source: Maxwell, Data Book on Hydrocarbons, page 18.

Figure 2. Heat of Combustion of Fuel Oils and Petroleum Fractions

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Heating Value Calculation


Example problems are shown for fuel heating value calculations
using Btu/lb. and Btu/ft3 values of the heating value of the fuel
components.

Example Problem 1

Calculate the lower heating value (LHV) of a refinery gas, which has the following
analysis:

Vol. %

Hydrogen, H2 = 5.1
Methane, CH4 = 86.4
Ethane, C2H6 = 8.3
Propane, C3H8 = 0.2

Total = 100.0

Answer:

Using values from Table 2.


Volume % and molar % are equal for a gas. Use a 100 mole basis.

Moles X LHV Wt% X


Moles MW Wt%
MW = lbs Btu/lb LHV/100

Hydrogen 5.1 2.0 10.2 0.62 51,600 319.9


Methane 86.4 16.0 1382.4 83.72 21,500 17,999.8
Ethane 8.3 30.1 249.8 15.13 20,370 3,082.0
Propane 0.2 44.1 8.8 0.53 19,929 105.6

Total 100.0 16.51 1651.2 100.00 21,507.3


Mixture LHV = 21,507 Btu/lb

Table 3. Calculate Heats of Combustion

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Heats of Combustion can also be found in Btu/ft3 in references such as the GPSA
Engineering Databook as shown in Table 4 below.

Net (LHV) Gross (HHV)


Btu/ft3 Btu/ft3

Hydrogen 273 324


Methane 911 1012
Ethane 1631 1783
Propane 2353 2557
n-Butane 3101 3369

Table 4. Heats of Combustion, Btu/ft3

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Example Problem 2

Recalculate the LHV of the refinery gas in Example Problem 1 in Btu/ft3.

Vol. %

Hydrogen, H2 = 5.1
Methane, CH4 = 86.4
Ethane, C2H6 = 8.3
Propane, C3H8 = 0.2
Total = 100.0

Answer:

Using LHV data from Table 4.

Volume LHV Vol. Fr. X


3
Fraction BTU/ft LHV

Hydrogen 0.051 273 13.9


Methane 0.864 911 787.1
Ethane 0.083 1631 135.4
Propane 0.002 2353 4.7

Total 1.000 941.1

3
Mixture LHV is 941 Btu/ft

Table 5. Calculate LHV, Btu/ft3

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HEAT TRANSFER MECHANISMS


Heat is transferred from a source to a receiver by one or more
of three distinct mechanisms. These mechanisms are radiation,
convection and conduction.
Radiation is the emitted energy from the motion of particles
rather than the transmission of heat through matter. The transfer
of heat by radiation is experienced when you feel the warmth of
the sun; heat reaches the earth from the sun by radiation. The
transfer of heat by radiation is identical to the transfer of energy
by light and by radio waves. In a vacuum, radiation heat waves
move at the speed of light, approximately 300,000
kilometers/second (186,000 miles/second).
Convection is the transfer of heat through the physical
movement of a gas or liquid. As with conduction, matter must be
present for convection heat transfer to take place. Convection
heat transfer does not take place in solids because their
molecular structure is very dense and the relative movement of
molecules is very small relative to that in gases and liquids. The
transfer of heat by convection is most pronounced in the vapor
phase. When a summer breeze blows hot air from the hotter
parts of the country to the cooler parts, heat is being transferred
by convection. In the winter, when the heat supplied to warm a
room rises to the ceiling, leaving the floor level cool, the heat is
transferred by convection. In liquids and gases, heat can be
simultaneously transferred via both convection and conduction.
Conduction is the transfer of heat between adjacent molecules
in a solid, gas, or liquid material. Matter must be present for the
transfer of heat by conduction. You experience transfer of heat
by conduction when you touch an object that is at a temperature
different from your body temperature. The skin temperature
changes as a result of the conduction of heat to or from the
object, depending on the object’s temperature. Of the three
mechanisms of heat transfer, conduction is the easiest to
understand.

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Radiation
Radiation is a function of temperature to the fourth power as
shown in the following equation:
QR
= ke( Tf ) − ( TS ) 
4 4
A  

where: QR = Heat transferred by radiation, Btu/hr.


k = Constant, Btu/hr ºF4 ft2 (includes a view
factor for combustion chamber geometry)
e = Surface emissivity, dimensionless
(0.8 to 0.9 for oxidized steel)
A = Effective outside area for radiation ft2

Tf = Temperature of hot gas, ºR

TS = Temperature of surface, ºR
Q/A = Heat flux

Radiation is the principle method of heat transfer in the radiant


section where a furnace tube can “see” the high temperature of
the flame (about 3500ºF). Radiation needs to be considered
even with hot flue gases because it may account for 50% of the
heat transferred even in a furnace convection section. Radiation
from hot flue gas is primarily attributed to CO2 and H2O
molecules in the flue gas. The temperature of the emitter is the
prime controlling variable in radiation heat transfer.
Heat flux (Q/A) is one of the limitations in process heater
design. Heat flux and metal temperatures are closely related.
Maximum heat fluxes specified by SAES-F-001 are shown in
Addendum C.

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Convection
The equation for heat transfer inside a tube is shown in the
following:
QC
= hi ( Ts − Tf )
A

hi is a function of inside tube fluid properties and Reynold’s


number.
where: QC = Heat transferred by convection, Btu/hr.

hi = Film heat transfer coefficient inside tube,


Btu/hr ºF-ft2.
A = Effective inside area, ft2

TS = Temperature of inside surface of tube,


ºR or ºF

Tf = Temperature of fluid inside tube, ºR or ºF

The equation for convective heat transfer outside the tube is


similar:
QC
= ho ( Tf − Ts )
A
hO is a function of outside tube fluid properties and Reynold’s
number.
where: QC = Heat transferred by convection, Btu/hr.

hO = Film heat transfer coefficient outside tube,


Btu/hr -ºF -ft2
A = Effective outside area, ft2

Tf = Temperature of fluid outside tube, ºR or ºF

TS = Temperature of outside surface of tube,


ºR or ºF

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The calculation of convective heat transfer can be quite


complicated because the properties of the fluids inside and
outside the tubes are changing rapidly. As the fluid flows inside
the tube the fluid properties change rapidly because of
vaporization and temperature changes. As the fluid flows
outside the tube the fluid properties change rapidly because of
temperature changes. There are also great changes in the
Reynold’s number both inside and outside the tubes.

Conduction
Conduction of heat through metal is usually not a controlling
factor in heat transfer because metal has good conduction (low
resistance to heat transfer). The equation for conduction is:

QM
= (k / t)( To − Ti )
A

where: QM = Heat transferred by conduction, Btu/hr.


A = Effective outside area, ft2
k = Thermal conductivity, Btu in/ ft2 hr ºF
t = Effective thickness of tube, in

TO = Outside surface temperature, ºR or ºF

Ti = Inside surface temperature, ºR or ºF

Thermal conductivity of carbon steel decreases slightly as


temperature increases (26 Btu in/ft2 hr ºF) at 212 ºF to 22 at
930ºF) as shown in Work Aid 3E-1.

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Heat Transfer Resistance


Heat is transferred from one fluid to the other fluid in a heat
exchanger through the tube metal wall. The tubewall and
adjacent film layers resist the transfer of heat from the tubeside
fluid to the shellside fluid in Figure 3. Resistances are the
inverse of heat transfer coefficients:

Figure 3. Heat Transfer Resistance

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The total resistance (R) for a clean convention section is made


up of the film resistance on the inside of the tube (ri), the metal
tubewall resistance (rm), and the film resistance on the outside
of the tube (ro). This is shown above in Figure 3. Even when the
bulk fluid is in the turbulent flow region, a laminar flow area (film)
exists next to the tubewall. Generally, lower film resistances are
associated with higher velocities, lower viscosities, and thinner
laminar-flow films.
Clean heat transfer equipment becomes dirty (fouled) after they
have been in service. Some services foul the equipment much
more quickly than other services. Therefore, to obtain
acceptable heat transfer in heat transfer equipment at the end of
its cycle run length, the equipment designer must consider the
fouled condition. Two more resistances must be factored in: (rdi)
fouling resistance on the inside of the tube and (rdo) fouling
resistance on the outside of the tube. Both rdi and rdo are
selected based on operating experience.

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Calculating Maximum Tube Metal Temperatures


The method for calculating maximum tube metal temperatures
is based on the procedure contained in API RP 530. The
Example Problem 3 illustrates these calculations.
Maximum tube metal temperature is calculated using the
following equation:

Tm = Tb + ∆ Tf + ∆ Tc + ∆ Tw

where: Tb = Bulk fluid temperature, ºF. This is the


temperature of the fluid inside the tube at the
point for which the tube metal temperature is
being calculated. Most cases use the
maximum process fluid temperature in the
section of the furnace in question.

∆Tf = Temperature difference across the fluid film,


ºF. This is a boundary layer between the bulk
process fluid and the inside surface of the
tubewall.

∆Tc = Temperature difference across fouling (a


layer of scale or coke), ºF. This is an
allowance for fouling that may occur on the
inside surface of the tubewall during
operation.

∆Tw = Temperature difference across the tubewall,


ºF (usually small).

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A temperature profile across the tubewall for the Example


Problem 3 is illustrated in Figure 4.

Figure 4. Temperature Profile

The major variable in determining the total temperature


difference between fluid inside the tube and the metal surface is
the maximum heat flux (φm). Maximum heater design heat
fluxes, as specified by SAES-F-001, are shown in Addendum C.
Since φm is, in turn, dependent upon the maximum tube metal
temperature, an iterative calculation procedure is required. The
calculation procedures presented in this module start by
estimating φm, calculating Tm based on this estimation, and then
recalculating φm. Since φm does not change rapidly with
changes in Tm, one or two iterations of these calculations is
usually sufficient.

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Temperature differences are determined by the following


equations:

Film temperature difference:


Q
φm = = hi ∆TF - - - - - convection
A

1  Do 
∆Tf = φm  
hi  Di − 2tc 

Coke or scale layer temperature difference:

Q  kc 
φm = = 
A  tc 
(∆Tc ) - - - - - conduction
D 
∆Tc = φm F  o 
 Di 
or
t  Do 
∆Tc = φm c  
k c  Di − t c 

Tubewall temperature difference:

Q  kw 
φm = =  ( ∆Tw ) - - - - - conduction
A  ta 
t a  Do 
∆Tw = φm  
k w  Di − t a 

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where: φm = Maximum heat flux (Q/A) (rate of heat transfer)


Btu/hr-ft2. By convention, this is based on the
outside surface area of the tube. In each of
these equations, φm is adjusted by a ratio of
applicable diameters to reflect the actual
surface area over which the term applies. This
is illustrated in Figure 5. The average diameters
of the tubewall and the coke layer are used. The
inside film is assumed to have no thickness.
hi = Fluid heat transfer coefficient at the inside wall
of the tube (also called the inside film
coefficient), Btu/hr-ft2-ºF. This must be
calculated, based on the properties of the fluid.
F = Fouling Factor. This provides an allowance for
coking, scale, or other deposits on the inside
surface of the tube. This factor is usually in the
range of 0.0015-0.005 Btu/hr-ft2-ºF. Fouling
factors for various services are listed in
Addendum C.
tc = Thickness of deposit (or scale, coke or other
deposits) layer, in. This can be used in place of
a fouling factor, or to estimate the effect of a
given layer of deposit. If a fouling factor is used,
assume that tc = 0. The following are typical
design coke thicknesses:
Atmospheric crude heater:
Vacuum crude heater:
kc = Thermal conductivity of a deposit layer. Coke
can be assumed to be 35 Btu-in./hr-ft2-ºF
(based on average coke temperature = 850ºF)
ta = Tubewall thickness, in.

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kw Thermal conductivity of the tubewall, Btu-in./hr-


ft2-ºF. This is a function of the tube material and
the tubewall temperature. Thermal
conductivities for common tube materials are
given in Work Aid 3E-1. Since thermal
conductivity is temperature dependent, it is first
necessary to assume a tube temperature and
conductivity, then adjust the calculations. Since
thermal conductivity is not extremely sensitive
to temperature changes, this step is usually not
difficult.
Do = Outside tube diameter, in.

Di = Inside tube diameter, in.

It is important to note that units must be consistent in these


equations. Many of the variables are often referenced in
inconsistent units, and these must be adjusted accordingly.

Figure 5. Tube Cross Section

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Example Problem 3

The following example illustrates the calculation of maximum tube metal temperature in
a furnace radiant section.
Reference: Adapted from API RP 530, Section C.5, Sample Calculation.
Given:

Tube Outside Diameter, Do in. = 4.50

Average Wall Thickness, ta in. = 0.25

Bulk Fluid Temperature, Tb ºF = 520

Flue Gas Temperature, Tg ºF = 1650

Average Radiant Tube Metal Temperature, Ta ºF = 582

Average Heat Flux, fr Btu/hr-ft2 = 10,000

Tube Material = CS
Maximum Heat Flux, fm (based on 692oF TMT) Btu/hr-ft2 = 22,210

Inside Film Coefficient, hi Btu/hr-ft2-ºF = 201

Fouling Factor, F Btu/hr-ft2-ºF = 0.0015


Service: Reboiler

Solution:

Inside Diameter, Di = Do - 2ta = (4.50) - 2 (0.25) in. = 4.00

Fouling Factor, F (Given) Btu/hr-ft2-ºF = 0.0015

Or: Deposit Thickness, tc in. =

Deposit Thermal Conductivity, kc Btu-in./hr-ft2-ºF =

Approx. TMT = Tb + 1.2 φm [1/hi + F]

= (520) + 1.2 (22,210) [1/(201) + (0.0015)] = 692

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Use this TMT to calculate kw = 692ºF

Thermal Conductivity, kw (from Work Aid 3E-1 at TMT): Btu-in./hr-ft2-ºF = 302

Film Temperature Difference:

(4.5) ºF = 124
∆Tf ′ = φm
1 Do
hi Di − 2t c
( )
= 22,210
1
[
(201) 4.0 − 2(0) ]
Coke Layer Temperature Difference:

(4.5) ºF = 37
D
( )
∆Tc = φmF o = 22,210 ( 0.0015)
Di (4.0)
Tubewall Temperature Difference:

(0.25) (4.5) ºF = 19
t
∆Tw = φm a
Do
k w Do − ta
(
= 22,210 )
(302) (4.5 − 0.25)
Total Temperature Difference = ∆Tf + ∆Tc + ∆Tw ºF = 180

Bulk Fluid Temperature, Tb ºF = 520

Maximum Tube Metal Temperature:

Tm = Tb + ∆Tf + ∆Tc + ∆Tw ºF = 700

Check Assumptions Made in Previous Calculations:


Check Inside Film Coefficient:
Liquid Phase Coefficient:

Calculated Wall Temperature, Tw = Tb + ∆Tf ºF = 644

Viscosity at Wall Temperature, µw cP = 1.1

2.42 (cP) = lb/hr-ft = 2.66

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0.14
 Original µ w 
hi′ = Original hi  
Revised µ w 

0.14
 ( 2.66 ) 
= ( 86.7) 
2
 Btu/hr-ft -ºF = 86.7
 ( 2.66 ) 

Vapor Phase Coefficient:


0.5
 Original Tw + 460 
hv ′ = Original hv  
 Calculated Tw + 460 

 ( 645 + 460) 
0.5
= ( 388.6)   Btu/hr-ft2-ºF = 388.8
 ( 644 + 460) 

Revised Two-Phase Coefficient:


htp' = hl' wl + hv' wv

= (86.7)(0.62) + (388.8)(0.38) Btu/hr-ft2-ºF = 201.5


where:
wl = weight fraction of liquid

wv = weight fraction of vapor

hl = inside heat transfer coefficient for


liquid, Btu/hr-ºF

hv = inside heat transfer coefficient for


vapor, Btu/hr-ºF

Revised Film Temperature Difference:

Original hi (2014
. ) ºF
∆Tf ′ = Original ∆Tf x = (124)
Re vised hi (2015
. ) = 124

Revised Tubewall Temperature Difference:


Average Tubewall Temperature,

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Tma = (Tm =700) - (∆Tw/2=10) ºF = 690

Thermal Conductivity, kw (at Tma)(Work Aid 3E-1) Btu-in./hr-ft2-ºF = 302

Original k w (302) ºF
∆Tw ′ = Original ∆Tw x = (19)
Re vised k w (302) = 19

Revised Maximum Tube Metal Temperature:

Tm' = Tb + ∆Tf' + ∆Tc' + ∆Tw' ºF = 700


Recalculate Maximum Radiant Heat Flux:
Recalculate FT:

FT =
( Tg + 460) − ( Tm + 460)
4 4
=
(1650 + 460) 4 − (700 + 460) 4 = 0.966
( Tg + 460)4 − (Ta + 460)4 (1650 + 460) 4 − ( 582 + 460) 4
Maximum Radiant Heat Flux:

φm = FC FL FT φr

= (1.91)(1.20)(0.966)(10,000) + φc Btu/hr-ft2 = 22140

FC = Factor accounting for circumferential heat flux variations (Figure 6)


FL = Factor accounting for longitudinal heat flux variations (Table 6)
FT = Factor accounting for effect of metal temperature on radiant heat flux
φr = Average radiant heat flux, Btu/hr.-ft2

φc = Average convective heat flux, Btu/hr.-ft2

22140
, − 22,210
% Difference in φm: x 100 = - 0.3%
22,210

22140
,
Resulting Difference in Tm: ∆T = 180° x = 179.4° F
22,210

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Centerline Tube Spacing/Tube Outside Diameter


Note 1:
1. = Double row against wall, triangular spacing.
2. = Double row with equal radiation from both sides and two diameters between rows,
equilateral spacing.
3. = Single row against wall.
4. = Single row with equal radiation from both sides.
Note 2: These curves are valid when used with a tube-center-to-refractory-wall spacing of 1-½
times the nominal tube diameter. Any appreciable variation from this spacing must be
given special consideration.
Source: API RP 530.

Figure 6. Ratio of Maximum Local-to-Average Heat Flux

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Furnace Radiant
FL
Section Height, ft

Up to 25 1.20
30 1.23
35 1.28
40 1.33
45 1.40
50 1.48

Table 6. Longitudinal Heat Flux Variation (FL)

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PURPOSE AND USE OF PROCESS HEATERS


The purpose of a process heater is to supply heat to a refining
or chemical process. The principle uses of process heat are in
distillation for charge heaters and reboilers and for reaction
temperature control such as hydrotreaters and reformers.
Process heaters are used when there is a large heat duty and
when the process fluid outlet temperature is usually over 500ºF
that is difficult to achieve with steam. A partial list of typical uses
is shown in Table 7.

Duty
Plant Unit Furnace Service Type (Design)
MBtu/hr
Ras Tanura
015
Two Stage Crude
F-100 A&B Atmospheric 2 Cell Box 250.7
F-200 A&B Vacuum 2 Cell Box 124.6
493
Prefractionator
F-101 Lt Ends Reboiler VC 45.2
F-102 Hvy Ends Reboiler VC 64.4
Naphtha
Hydrotreater
F-201 Hydrotreater Charge VC 32.0
F-202 Desulfurizer Reboiler VC 27.0
Rheniformer
F-301 No.1 Reactor Heater Arbor 84.0
F-302 No.2 Reactor Heater Arbor 47.0
F-303 No.3 Reactor Heater Arbor 28.0
F-304 No.4 Reactor Heater Arbor 14.0
Convection section
Superheater 13.0
Steam Generation 79.8
Boiler Feedwater 17.2
Total for Rheniformer 283.0
Uthmaniyah (R-34)
F-101 Reaction Furnace 65.0
F-102 Reaction Furnace 65.0
F-103 Reaction Furnace 65.0
VC = Vertical Cylindrical
Arbor = Box with arbor coil

Table 7. Saudi Aramco Furnaces

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Charge Heaters
Figure 7 shows Process Flow Diagram (PFD) for Ras Tanura
Refinery Crude Unit 15. This is an example of heating distillation
charge. F-100 is the atmospheric column charge heater and F-
200 is the vacuum column charge heater. Steam is added to the
F-200 charge to increase vaporization and to increase the
velocity in the tubes to minimize residence time. This minimizes
coking in the heater.

Figure 7. Crude Unit - Ras Tanura Refinery

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Reboilers
The Ras Tanura Naphtha Hydrotreater heater F - 202 listed in
Table 7 is an example of a reboiler application. The heater is
used to reboil (supply heat to the bottom of the column) the
desulfurized product separation column.

Reaction Temperature Control


The Ras Tanura Rheniformer heaters F - 301 through 304 and
Uthmaniyah R34 heaters F - 101 through 103 are examples of
reaction temperature control. These heaters are used to control
the charge temperature to each reactor in a reformer. The
reforming reaction is endothermic (consumes energy) which
causes the temperature to drop through the reactor. The
intermediate heaters supply energy to return the reactor inlet
temperature to that required by the reforming reactions.

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PROCESS HEATER TYPES


Process heaters are sometimes referred to as furnaces and the
terms are used interchangeably.

Direct Fired/Fire Tube


All furnaces and heaters are classified in one of two categories;
direct-fired heaters (flame outside tubes) or fire tube heaters
(flame inside tubes). Because most furnaces and heaters in a
refinery are direct fired, the following discussion will be limited to
direct fired equipment; however, a brief summary of fire tube
heater types, their characteristics, and how they compare with
direct fired heaters is given below in Table 8 as general
background.

Direct Fired Fire Tube

Applications
Hot oil heater. Indirect fired water bath heaters (line heaters).
Regeneration gas heaters. Propane and heavier hydrocarbon vaporizers.
Amine and stabilizer reboilers. Hot oil and salt bath heaters.
Glycol and amine reboilers.
Low-pressure steam generators.
Tank heaters
Characteristics
More ancillary equipment and controls. Heat duty usually less than 10 MBtu/hr.
Higher thermal efficiency. Easily skid mounted.
Requires less plot space. Forced or natural draft combustion.
Forced or natural draft combustion. Less likely to have hot spots or tube rupture.

With permission from the Gas Processors Suppliers Association. Source: Engineering Data Book.
MBtu/hr = Million Btu/hr which is usual for heat transfer calculations.

Table 8. Furnace Categories

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Cylindrical/Cabin
There are two basic types of direct-fired furnaces, cylindrical
and cabin. Within each type there are many different
configurations. The furnaces can have different coil
arrangements: horizontal, vertical, helical, or serpentine. Also,
the furnace can be all-radiant (no convection section) or have a
convection section. Several configurations for the vertical
cylindrical and cabin type furnaces are shown in Figure 8 and
Figure 9.
The all-radiant cylindrical furnace is the simplest and least
expensive. Typically, an all-radiant furnace operates with about
a 60% efficiency and a stack temperature of about 1200ºF.
Adding a convection section to an all-radiant vertical cylindrical
furnace increases the overall furnace efficiency to about 80%
and drops the stack temperature to about 750ºF. Of course, the
convection section significantly increases the furnace cost.

With permission from the Gas Processors Suppliers Association. Source: Engineering Data Book.

Figure 8. Example of Vertical Figure 9. Example of Cabin


Cylindrical Direct Fired Furnaces Direct Fired Furnace

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Advantages

Some of the advantages for the two types of direct-fired


furnaces are identified below in Table 9.

Cylindrical Furnace Advantages:

• Require the smallest plot area for a given duty.


• The cost is usually 10 to 15% lower in the larger sizes.
• Can accommodate more parallel passes in the process coil.
• For large duties, a cylindrical heater has a taller firebox and more natural draft at the
burner.
• The flue gas velocity is usually higher in the convection section, hence, the flue gas
film coefficient is higher.
• Few expensive tube supports or guides are required in the convection section.
• The noise plenums or preheated combustion air plenums are smaller.
• Fewer soot blowers are required in the convection section. (Soot blowers are not
needed for gaseous fuel.)
• If coil drainage is a problem (vertical tubes), a helical coil may be used when there is
only one pass.
Cabin Furnace Advantages

• The process coil can always be drained (Horizontal Tubes).


• Two-phase flow problems are less severe (slug flow can generally be avoided).
(Horizontal Tubes)
• Cabins can accommodate side-firing or end-firing burners instead of only vertically
upward firing. This permits the floor of the heater to be closer to the ground. (Some
burner manufacturers prefer to fire liquid fuels horizontally.)

With permission from the Gas Processors Suppliers Association. Source: Engineering Data Book.

Table 9. Comparison of Cylindrical and Cabin Furnaces

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The choice of vertical or cabin process heater will depend on


the application and size of the heater. Cabin heaters are
sometimes called box heaters. The most common Saudi
Aramco heaters are cylindrical. Certain applications such as
reformer heaters are usually cabin heaters. Cabin heaters
usually have a larger heat duty than cylindrical heaters. An
example of cylindrical heaters is shown in Figure 10 for the
Prefractionator at Ras Tanura. F - 101 is the light ends reboiler
and F - 102 is the heavy ends reboiler.

Figure 10. Saudi Aramco Vertical Cylindrical Furnaces

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MAJOR COMPONENTS AND SYSTEMS


Figure 11 shows a box heater and the major heater (furnace)
components. The process fluid enters the heater in the
convection section where it is heated by the flue gases. The
process fluid is then heated in the radiant coils in the firebox.

Legend:
1. Access door 7. Convection section 13. Header box 19. Tubesheet
2. Arch 8. Corbel 14. Radiant section 20. Pier
3. Breeching 9. Crossover 15. Shield section 21. Stack/duct
4. Center wall 10. Tubes 16. Observation door 22. Platform
5. Burner 11. Extended surface 17. Tube support
6. Casing 12. Return bend 18. Refractory lining
Source: API Standard 560, Fired Heaters for General Refinery Services,
1st Edition, January 1986. Reprinted courtesy of the American Petroleum Institute.

Figure 11. Furnace Components

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Cylindrical Heaters - Tubes and Headers


The tube and header section in the firebox is normally referred
to as the radiant section. In a cylindrical heater the radiant
section tubes hang (or stand) vertically as shown in Figure 12.
More than one coil is usually mounted in the radiant section to
minimize pressure drop on the process side.

Figure 12. Vertical Cylindrical Furnace - Internal View

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The radiant tube hangers (supports) are usually at the top and
the tubes are allowed to expand down. The tubes are guided so
that they maintain their position when expanding if the tubes are
30 feet or longer. The return bends (headers) are usually within
the firebox if they are welded u-bends. Plug type headers are
usually in a separate header box.
The convection tubes are usually mounted horizontally above
the radiant section. The convection section is normally shielded
from direct radiation from the firebox by either shield tubes or a
baffle shield. The return bends (headers) are often mounted in
their own header box as shown in Figure 12. The convection
tubes (except for shield tubes) have extended surfaces to
improve the heat transfer. The extended surfaces may look like
those in Figure 13. The convection section crossectional area is
smaller in than that of the radiant section to increase flue gas
velocity and thereby improve heat transfer (also increases flue
gas pressure drop). The number of coils in the convection
section is usually the same as that in the radiant section.

a) Serrated Fins b) Solid Fins c) Studs

Figure 13. Types of Extended Surfaces

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Cabin/Box Heaters - Tubes and Headers


Cabin/box heaters are very much alike. The major difference is
the shape of the breeching. The cabin heater has a sloped roof.
as shown in Figure 14C. The radiant section tubes are usually
mounted horizontally in a cabin/box heater as shown in Figure
14C and Figure 14F. More than one coil is usually mounted in
the radiant section to minimize pressure drop on the process
side.
Some heaters such as the Rheniformer heaters at Ras Tanura
have arbor coils, which are shown in Table 7.

Source: API Standard 560, Fired Heaters for General Refinery Services , 1st Edition,
January 1986. Reprinted courtesy of the American Petroleum Institute.

Figure 14. Typical Furnace Types

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Figure 15 shows an internal view of a typical cabin heater.

Figure 15. Cabin Furnace - Internal View

Radiant section tube supports are like shelf supports and allow
horizontal expansion of the tubes. Radiant section tube returns
are usually in the firebox if they are welded u-bends. Plug type
headers are usually in a separate header box.
The convection section in a cabin heater is horizontal and
mounted above the radiant section. In a box heater the
convection is also horizontal but it may be above or beside the
radiant section. The convection tubes have extended surfaces
(fins) to improve heat transfer. The convection section is smaller
in crossectional area than the radiant section to increase flue
gas velocity and thereby improve heat transfer (also increases
pressure drop). Sootblowers are installed in the convection
section if oil is fired. The number of coils in the convection
section is usually the same as that in the radiant section.
Convection section tubes supports are like a loose tubesheet.

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Radiant Tube Hangers and Guides


The radiant tube hangers must support the weight of the tubes
and the fluid in the tubes. In addition the tube supports must
compensate for stresses due to dead loads and frictional loads.
The frictional loads result from tube movements due to thermal
expansion and contraction.
The tube hangers do not have a process fluid cooling them like
the tubes. The design temperature for radiant section hangers
have been specified as the radiant section flue gas exit plus
200ºF. The design temperature of end tube supports in a header
box is the design temperature used for the return header that is
usually the process temperature plus 50ºF.

ºF ºC Material Casting Plate

800 427 Carbon Steel A 216 Gr WCB A283 Gr C


1200 649 5Cr - ½Mo A 217 Gr C5 A 387 Gr 5
1500 816 18Cr - 8Ni A 351 Gr CF8 A A 240, TP 304
297 Gr HF
1800 982 25Cr - 12Ni A 447 Type II A 240, TP 309S
2000 1093 25Cr - 20Ni A 351 Gr HK40 A A 240, TP 310S
297 Gr HK
From API Standard 560 Par. 6.3.1.

Table 10. Maximum Design Temperatures for Tube Support Materials

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In addition, the API standard specifies that if the design


temperature exceeds 1200ºF and the fuel contains more than
100 ppm vanadium and sodium, the supports shall be one of the
following:
1. Covered with 2” of castable refractory with minimum
density of 130 lb/ft3
2. Constructed of 50Cr-50Ni-Cb (Nb) minimum without
coating

32-SAMSS-029 specifies a minimum of 25Cr-20Ni, (HK40) for


intermediate shield tube supports. Carbon steel tube supports
shall be protected by castable refractory (100 mm convection,
150 mm radiant).
A typical horizontal tube support is shown in Figure 16. This
tube support carries only one tube. Sometimes tube supports
are combined into one casing so that the support looks like
several fingers. Figure 16 shows a retainer or keeper to keep
the tube from wandering off the support during expansion or
contraction.

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Modified with permission from Petro-Chem Development Co.

Figure 16. Support for Horizontal Tubes

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A typical top vertical tube support is shown in Figure 17. The


support is very similar to that used for horizontal tubes, except
the vertical loads are much greater and the friction loads are
negligible. Each support must support the entire weight of two
radiant tubes and two return bends.

Modified with permission from Petro-Chem Development Co.

Figure 17. Radiant Section Tube Top Support

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For bottom supported vertical coils, the design of the tube


support is usually not of concern. The support usually consists
of a casting mounted on the furnace floor and buried in the floor
refractory. The temperature is relatively low and allowable
stresses are high.
Vertical tubes must also be guided to restrict movement other
than that required by thermal expansion. Top supported vertical
tubes are usually guided at the bottom by a guide pin attached
to the return bend as shown in Figure 18. This pin fits into a
sleeve mounted in the furnace floor.

Modified with permission from Petro-Chem Development Co.

Figure 18. Radiant Section Bottom Tube Guide

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Figure 19 shows a typical guide used at the top of a bottom


supported coil. It guides two tubes. One piece is bolted to the
structure. A pin is used to attach the second piece once the
tubes are installed. This guide can also be used as a midpoint
guide for tubes longer than 30 feet.

Modified with permission from Petro-Chem Development Co.

Figure 19. Radiant Section Tube Guide

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Convection Tube Hangers


Most convection section tubes are supported at the ends by
insulated external tube supports with one or more intermediate
tube supports. The number of intermediate tube supports is
dependent on the length of the convection section. The design
temperature of a convection section tube support is typically the
flue gas temperature plus 100°F. Since the flue gas temperature
changes rapidly over the convection section all tube supports
may not be designed for the same temperature.
A typical tube support used for convection section tubes is
shown in Figure 20. It is supported from the convection section
sidewalls by brackets and guides that are attached to the
structure. Furnace manufacturers use a number of tube support
designs.

Figure 20. Typical Convection Section Tube Support

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Insulation And Refractory


The purpose of insulation and refractory is to reduce heat losses
to the atmosphere and allow the structural members to operate
at near atmospheric temperature. Most heaters are uninsulated
since they use a cold wall design for the structure and
enclosure. Refractory on the inside of the heater keeps the
outside structure cool. The two most important properties of
refractory are mechanical strength and thermal conductivity.
The thermal conductivity usually increases with increased
mechanical strength and/or density. Sufficient refractory is used
so that the outside exposed surfaces do not exceed 150ºF.
Provision must be provided for expansion of refractory.
Refractory must meet the requirements of SAES-N-100
Refractory Systems, SAES-N-110 Installation Requirements -
Castable Refractories, SAES-N-130 Installation Requirements -
Fireclay Bricks and SAES-N-140 Installation Requirements -
Refractory Ceramic Fiber. The Addendum contains information
on refractory installation.
Typical refractory components in process heaters are shown in
Figure 21 and are summarized below. An internal refractory
lining throughout the furnace protects the enclosure and
structure, and reduces heat losses.

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Figure 21. Typical Refractory Components In Furnaces

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Radiant Section:
• Walls and arches. The major lining systems used in furnaces
consist of three types of refractory linings:
− Insulating firebrick (IFB).
− Castable refractory.
− Ceramic fiber.
• Floor. Brick and castable linings that are strong enough to
withstand maintenance turnaround traffic and scaffolding.

Convection Section:
• Sidewalls. Insulating firebrick and castable refractory linings.
• Endwalls. Single-layer castable refractory lining is used on
the flue gas side of the end tube supports.
• Header boxes. Single-layer castable refractory or ceramic
fiber lining is used on the inside surface.

Flue gas breeching and ducts:


• Single-layer castable refractory lining or ceramic fiber linings.

Stack:
• Where required, a single-layer castable refractory lining is
used.

Burners:
• Burner blocks are constructed of high-temperature refractory
firebricks or castable refractories.

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Refractory Installation
Some details of refractory installation are reviewed in the
following section.

Brick Construction

Two types of refractory bricks are widely used in furnaces:


refractory firebrick and insulating firebrick. Commonly used
firebricks of both types are composed mainly of alumina (Al2O3)
and silica (SiO2), most having a composition of about 45%
alumina and 50% or more silica. For special applications,
particularly when very high service temperatures are required,
the alumina content can be increased to over 99%.
Refractory firebricks are used for hot face applications in
furnaces, and combustors where high strength and temperature
resistance are of primary concern. Refractory firebricks also
have a generally high resistance to spalling. The physical
characteristics of refractory firebrick are dependent upon the
refractory and binder components used, the forming method,
and the temperature at which the firing is done. These bricks
have a high density (about 180 lb/ft3) and service temperatures
of 3000ºF or higher.
Insulating firebrick is used in applications, such as furnace
linings, where a high insulating value is more important than
strength. Insulating firebrick is a type of porous refractory brick
material. It is manufactured by firing mixtures of high-quality
clay, sawdust, and other constituents. Density of the bricks is
about 30-50 lb/ft3, and service temperatures are 2000-3000ºF.
Firebricks can be purchased in many standard sizes and
shapes. The most common standard brick size is 9 in. x 4-½ in.
x 2-½ in. Mortar is used to bond the bricks together. Expansion
joints must be provided in all brick linings to allow for thermal
expansion of the bricks.

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Insulating Firebrick (IFB) Systems – This lining system consists


of a wall of bricks at the inside hot face of the lining and a
backup layer of lightweight insulating block material next to the
furnace casing. The IFB wall is usually 4-½ in. thick, although 9
in. thick walls are often used in very high-temperature furnaces.
A typical IFB wall is shown in Figure 22.

Although "brick and block" linings have been used successfully


for many years, more recent practice has been to use castable
or ceramic fiber linings for process furnaces. These linings are
less costly than IFB walls and are more suitable for shop
preassembly of furnace sections.

Figure 22. Typical Insulating Firebrick (IFB) System

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Backup Material – The backup material used in most IFB walls is


a layer of mineral wool block insulation, typically 1-3 in. thick.
Mineral wool is usually a low-melting-point glass material.
Materials are available with service temperatures of up to about
1900ºF.

Because of its superior properties and competitive cost, some


recent IFB systems have used a backup layer of ceramic fiber
material instead of the mineral wool. Ceramic fiber can
withstand higher temperatures than can mineral wool, so it
offers a better safety factor should the IFB wall develop cracks.

Support System – IFB wall are supported by shelf angles that


are attached to the furnace structure. Due to the thermal
expansion of the wall, it is necessary to support the wall
vertically about every 6–10 ft. Horizontal expansion joints are
provided at each shelf angle.

Vertical expansion joints are also provided about every 10 ft.


The expansion joints are typically packed with ceramic fiber
material.

Tiebacks are used to stabilize the wall and hold it in place. Each
tieback must be designed to permit some horizontal and vertical
movement of the brick wall caused by thermal expansion. In
vertical walls, not all bricks need to be tied back. A common
practice is to tie back half the bricks in every fourth row of
bricks, which is 12.5% of the wall. Other tieback patterns are
also used. API standard 560 requires a minimum of 10% of the
bricks to be tied back (Par. 7.2.1). Typical tieback details are
illustrated in Figure 23.

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Figure 23. Typical Tieback Details

In some furnaces, sloping walls or flat IFB arches are provided.


In these cases, all bricks must be tied back.

In vertical cylindrical furnaces, the arch effect of the bricks acts


to hold the vertical wall in place. Tiebacks are not usually
required, unless the furnace diameter is extremely large (over
about 25 ft in diameter).

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Refractory Firebrick Systems – Listed below are various types of


refractory firebrick systems.

Floor Refractory – The floor tubes are covered with a layer of


refractory firebricks to reduce heat transfer to these tubes. The
floor insulation in furnaces is also covered with a layer of
refractory firebricks to provide for wear during maintenance
turnarounds. The bricks in both applications are laid in place
dry, and are not mortared. Castable refractory of equivalent
density and service temperature is sometimes used in place of
bricks.

Dividing Walls – Dividing walls are used between the radiant


section zones of multi-celled furnaces, such as the Ras Tanura
493-F-3-1/2/3/4 Rheniformer Furnace. These are gravity walls
constructed of high-duty refractory firebrick. The maximum
height of the wall is about 24 ft. The base width is approximately
2 ft (2-½ to 3 bricks wide). The width decreases in 2-3 steps, so
that the top few feet is 9 in. wide (equivalent to 1 brick).

Vertical expansion joints are provided at the ends of the gravity


wall. Intermediate expansion joints are also provided, and these
are usually lapped joints. Mortar is not used in lapped joints (dry
joints).

Sulfur Furnaces – High-duty refractory firebricks are used as the


front layer in sulfur furnace refractory linings. These layers are
typical 9 in. thick. Castable insulation is used in the backup
layer.

Thermal Expansion – Refractory firebricks experience thermal


expansion when heated, and this must be considered in the
design of refractory lining systems. Expansion joints are
required in all types of brick construction.

For IFB walls, the size of the expansion joint should be


approximately twice the thermal expansion calculated, using the
manufacturer's thermal expansion data, and based on the
refractory design temperature. The expansion joint is filled with
ceramic fiber material.

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For refractory brick used as the top layer of the floor in furnaces,
the allowance for thermal expansion should be about 3/32 in./ft
(unless the manufacturer's data indicate that a greater
allowance should be used). Expansion joints should be covered
with refractory bricks to keep debris out.

In cases where expansion joints are provided in more than one


layer of refractory, the joints should be staggered so that there
is no direct line of sight back to the casing.

Expansion joints should also be provided around burner blocks


and tube supports.

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Castable Refractory

Castables are concrete-like mixtures of "refractory" aggregates


and cement that are formulated to be mixed with water. The
water allows the mixture to be formed into the desired shape
and structure. Most castables contain a hydraulic-setting
calcium aluminate cement. A variety of materials are used for
the aggregate.
Several types of castable refractories are available. These are
listed in Table 11, according to density. Strength, thermal
conductivity, and service temperature generally increase with
density. Lightweight castables are used for their insulating
properties. Heavy weight castables are used for their high
strength and high service temperature properties. Dense
castables have properties similar to those of refractory
firebricks.

Dry Minimum Permanent Service


Installed Compressive Linear Temperature
Castable Type
Density Strength Change Limit,
lb/cu ft (1)(2) psi (2) %, max (2) ºF (3)

30 -2.0 "Backup": >1500


1. Very Lightweight 20 to 45 100 -1.4 "Facing": >2000
2. Lightweight 45 to 75 300 -1.2 >2000
3. Mediumweight 75 to 115 500 -1.0 >2000
4. Heavyweight 115 to 150 2000 -0.8 >2400
5. Dense >150 5000 -0.8 >2400
Notes:
1. In the installed condition after drying at 220ºF for 18 hours.
2. As determined by standard test procedures.
3. Certified by manufacturer.

Table 11. Castable Refractory Types

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Castable Refractory Lining Systems – Castable refractory lining


systems consist of single- or dual-layer castable refractories
held in place by metallic anchors that are welded to the casing.
Typical castable linings are shown in Figure 24.

Figure 24. Castable Refractory Lining Systems

Castable linings are widely used in process furnaces. They are


easy to install and repair, have a low cost, and can be shop-
installed.
In dual-layer castable linings, the hot face layer is constructed of
a higher service temperature, denser material and should be at
least 3 in. thick. The backup layer is usually a very lightweight
castable material.
In some cases, mineral wool block insulation or ceramic fiber
insulation is used for the backup layer, because of their lower
thermal conductivities. In these cases, a waterproof seal must
be applied to the insulation layer before applying the castable
layer. Otherwise, the insulation will soak up the water in the
castable mixture, resulting in a much-weakened castable layer.

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One castable material commonly used in furnaces is a mixture


of lumnite (a type of calcium aluminate cement) and two
refractory aggregates (haydite and vermiculite) in a 1:2:4
(L:H:V) mix by volume. This is an inexpensive material having
reasonably good insulation characteristics. It has a maximum
service temperature of 1900 - 2000ºF, so that the hot face
temperature should be limited to about 1700ºF. The three
components of this material can be purchased separately and
combined in the field as the castable is prepared. However, this
can result in variations in the composition, resulting in inferior
properties in portions of the lining.
To avoid problems with field mixing, all castable materials
(including "L-H-V") should be factory premixed and packaged by
the manufacturer.
It is also essential that refractory materials used in the field be
properly stored. Exposure to any amount of water will damage
castable materials. These materials should be shipped and
stored in moisture proof containers. The storage area should be
protected from the weather. Material from broken bags, or any
material showing signs of having been exposed to moisture
(containing lumps or hard throughout), should not be used.
Anchors – Castable linings are supported by the furnace casing,
or shell, using metallic anchors. Many anchor designs are used,
with the most common consisting of "V" clips welded to the steel
casing. For dual-layer linings, separate anchors should be
provided for each layer of castable. Typical anchors are shown
in Figure 26. Anchor patterns are shown in Figure 25.

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Figure 25. Typical Anchors for Castable Linings

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Maximum Spacing for Anchors


Type of Application
Vertical Walls Arches and Hip Sections

Cast in Place 1 per 100 sq in. 1 per 81 sq in.

Precast Panel Construction As for Cast-In-place, Except that the Density of


Anchors Shall Be Increased About 50% in a 10 in.
Wide Parallel Border Around Edges of all Panels and
Openings, Including Observation doors.

Notes:
1. Figures in Parentheses Indicate Spacing for Arches and Hip Sections.
2. Anchors on a Staggered Pattern, with Tines Located in a Random
Orientation.

Figure 26. Typical Anchor Arrangements for Castable Linings

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Installation – Castable refractory systems can be installed by


either pouring or gunning. Gunning is a technique that involves
shooting the cement mixture into place with a pneumatic gun.
The material that falls to the ground is called rebound and is
waste material. Gunning is a very economical method of
application. However, gunning is a skilled craft, and the
techniques of the applicator can make the difference between
the success and failure of the installation.
Castable refractory linings can also be installed as panels. The
castable is poured at grade, and then the panel is lifted into
place. The panels are bolted together, and the metal backing
becomes the furnace casing.
Almost all refractory problems are the result of irregularities in
the installation process. The quality of castable refractory
applications is highly dependent upon the use of proper
installation and curing procedures. This is particularly important
for gunned refractories. Experienced refractory workers should
be used for all castable refractory jobs. The water used in
mixing castables should be clean and potable.
Because of the possible variations in the quality of castable
refractory installations, the installation process should be
carefully monitored with a series of tests and inspections.
Before installation: Samples of each batch of castable should be
tested to ensure that the material properties meet the
specifications and have not deteriorated during storage.
Compressive strength, density, and permanent linear change
should be tested in accordance with standard ASTM testing
procedures.
For gunned linings, the skill of each operator should be
determined by having the operator gun a test panel of each
refractory to be used. The panels should be tested for
soundness, using a hammer test, and for density.
During installation: For each castable being applied, random
samples should be taken during each shift. These should be
tested for strength, density and linear change to ensure that the
materials, as applied, have the required properties. Test panels
should also be taken for each operator to ensure proper
operation of the equipment.

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After installation: A hammer test should be used to determine


the soundness of refractory linings. When defective areas in the
lining are encountered, such as voids or dry-filled areas, a dull
sound will be heard. Any unsound areas should be cut out and
replaced.
After the installation is completed, castable refractory linings
must be cured and dried out before they are ready for service.
These steps should be carried out in accordance with the
refractory manufacturer's instructions.
Curing is a process in which the calcium aluminate cement
binder in the castable sets up, and achieves a satisfactory
strength. During this period of time, which is usually 24 hours,
moisture is required to complete the hydration reaction.
After the curing step is completed, castable refractories must be
dried out to remove any free water remaining in the lining. This
is accomplished by gradually heating the furnace or boiler, over
a period of 2 to 3 days, to near operating temperatures. If the
lining is not properly dried out, excessive quantities of steam
can form inside the refractory, causing sections of the lining to
spall.
Thermal Expansion – Hydraulic-setting castable refractories can
be used to form a monolithic structure without expansion joints.
This is made possible by the shrinkage that takes place in most
castable refractories during initial heating (dry-out). With few
exceptions, shrinkage cracking is large enough to accommodate
thermal expansion that occurs upon subsequent heating of the
material. However, expansion joints should be provided around
burner blocks and tube supports.
Other Applications – Single-layer castable linings are used in
many places with moderate temperatures to protect the steel
structure and to limit heat losses. These applications include
header boxes, flue gas ducts, and stacks. The lining should be a
medium weight castable, at least 2 in. thick. A commonly used
material in this service is a 1:4 mixture of lumnite and haydite
(L:H).
Thin single-layer linings are usually supported by chain link
fencing or wire mesh that is anchored to the steel casing.
Carbon steel or stainless steel material is used, depending on
the temperatures.

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Ceramic Fiber

Ceramic fiber construction is the most recent development for


furnace insulation systems. Ceramic fiber is manufactured by a
blowing or spinning process in which a molten alumina-silica
raw material is transformed into very small-diameter fibers.
These ceramic fibers are then formed into blankets, 1–2 in.
thick, about 2 ft wide, and several ft long.
Ceramic fiber blankets are available in densities of 4–12 lb/ft3,
and with 2000 – 2600ºF service temperatures. Using special
materials, service temperatures can be increased to 3000ºF. In
contrast with other refractory materials, thermal conductivity
decreases with increasing density, up to a density of about
16 lb/ft3.
Ceramic fiber is also available in the form of rope, cloth, paper,
board, vacuum-formed shapes, and bulk material.
Ceramic Fiber Lining Systems – A ceramic fiber lining system
consists of several layers of blanket, with a higher-density layer
(typically 8 lb/ft3) on the hot face and lower-density layers
(typically 4 lb/ft3) as backup. Mineral wool block insulation is
sometimes used for the layers closest to the casing. The lining
is held in place by metallic anchors that are welded to the
casing. Typical ceramic fiber lining details are shown in
Figure 27 and Figure 28.
Ceramic fiber blanket linings have advantages over
conventional brick or castable lining systems:
• Low thermal conductivity.
• Low weight.
• Relatively low cost.
• Relatively low-skill installation.
• Quick installation and repair.
• Unlimited storage life.
• No dry-out required.

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Ceramic fiber blankets are subject to shrinkage in service, and


this shrinkage must be provided for in the lining system design.
The hot face blanket layers should be constructed with
overlapped joints, as shown in Figure 27. The overlapped joints
should be in the direction of gas flow.

Figure 27. Typical Ceramic Fiber Lining Detail 1

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In the backup layers, butt joints can be used, with the blankets
compressed at least 1 in. to allow for shrinkage. Joints in
successive layers should be staggered. This reduces the
possibility of direct heat flow back to the casing.
Corners/edges should be wrapped around to accommodate
fiber shrinkage during service and to ensure a continuous lining.
Typical details are shown Figure 28.

Figure 28. Typical Ceramic Fiber Lining Detail 2

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Unprotected ceramic fiber blankets should be restricted to


velocities of 40 ft/s across the surface. At higher velocities, the
blanket may shred. For velocities up to 100 ft/s, "rigidized"
ceramic fiber, ceramic fiberboard, or ceramic fiber modules may
be used.

Ceramic fiber linings can be easily damaged, and are not


suitable for use on floors or in any location where mechanical
abuse is likely. However, when damage occurs, the lining is
easily repairable.

Ceramic fiber lining systems have been in use for about 20


years. Improvements are constantly being made, so
experienced manufacturers should be consulted before
developing the final specifications for or approving a ceramic
fiber system design.

Some concerns have been expressed recently about potential


health hazards to lining installers, from breathing in tiny ceramic
fibers. Installers should be provided with protective equipment to
avoid this problem.

Anchors – Typical ceramic fiber anchors are shown in


Figure 29. Anchors consist of the following components:

• A metallic stud welded to the casing.

• Intermediate retaining clips to hold the first blanket layers in


place during installation, particularly on overhead sections.

• An anchor at the hot face. These are usually metal washers


that twist and lock in place. These washers are covered with
a wet blanket patch for protection against direct radiation, as
shown in Figure 24. Alternatively, ceramic retainer cups,
filled with moldable ceramic, can be used. Typical anchor
patterns are shown in Figure 30.

Thermal Expansion – Provision for thermal expansion is not


required in ceramic fiber systems.

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Figure 29. Typical Ceramic Fiber Anchors

Figure 30. Typical Patterns for Ceramic Fiber Lining

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External Insulation

Blanket insulation (at least 2 in. thick) and weatherproofing is


used on external surfaces to reduce heat losses.
External blanket insulation is also used on flue gas ducts. This
can keep the inside steel temperature above the flue gas
dewpoint. Sometimes, external insulation is also used on steel
stacks.

Criteria for Selection

Heater Area Acceptable Lining Systems


Heater Wall, Arc, Breeching Single- or multilayer lining or ceramic
fiber linings. (Insulating firebrick is usually
not the most economical choice overall.)
Floor Multilayer lining, using block or castable
backup.
Breeching Single-layer lining.
Stack Single-layer lining.
Hot Air and Hot Flue Gas Ducting Single- or multilayer lining or ceramic
fiber lining.
Cold Air (For Noise Control) External insulation or internal single-layer
lining.
Cold Flue Gas Single-layer lining. (As an alternate
external insulation may be used.)
Header Boxes Single-layer lining or ceramic fiber lining.
Fans, Air preheaters External insulation.
Access Doors, Observation Doors Same as wall or duct.

Table 12. Selecting Refractory Lining Systems

Table 12 shows guidelines for acceptable refractory lining


systems. Economics are important criteria for selection of
refractory linings. Selection of refractory lining systems is highly
dependent upon the fuels to be used. Serious corrosion and
refractory degradation can be caused by high levels of sulfur
and metals in the fuel.

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Fuel Sulfur Considerations – When fuels that contain sulfur are


fired, the combustion products contain SO2 and SO3. The SO3
can combine with water vapor to form sulfuric acid that can
attack some refractory materials. Below about 300ºF liquid
sulfuric acid is formed, which is highly corrosive to metallic
components.
The type of lining system and materials chosen must reflect the
quantity of sulfur in the fuel. Table 13 can be used to select
refractory lining systems based on fuel sulfur content.

Vapor Barrier
Fuel Fired Lining Facing Back-up
Required (3)
Oil < 0.5% (wt.) sulfur or Brick, Castable
Gas < 0.5% (vol.) H2S Ceramic Fiber Any No
(4)
Brick Block Yes
Oil > 0.5% (wt.) sulfur or
Gas > 0.5% (vol.) H2S (1) Brick(4) Castable No, if t > 3 & ρ > 60(2)
Castable Block Yes
Castable Castable No, if t > 3 & ρ > 75(2)
Ceramic fiber Block Yes
Ceramic fiber Ceramic Yes
fiber
Castable
(ducts & stacks) None No, if t > 3 & ρ > 60(2)

Notes:
1. Total concentration of free alkali, MgO, and iron in the aggregate shall be less
than 10%; facing shall be a mediumweight or heavier castable, and have a
calcium binder.
2. t, is the refractory thickness in inches, and ρ is the installed fired density, lb/ft3.
3. Alternate to vapor barrier could be glass filled polyester coating of inside casing
surface.
4. IFB should be less then 2 wt % CaO. Sulfuric acid can react with CaO and
cause refractory failure.

Table 13. Criteria For Lining Systems for Sulfur Containing Fuels

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If a fuel contains less than 0.5 wt% sulfur, the potential for
corrosion is small and no special materials are required.

If the fuel contains more than about 0.5 wt% sulfur, sufficient
SO2 and SO3 are produced that it can easily penetrate any fiber
structure. Provisions should be made in the design of refractory
systems to protect against potential casing corrosion and
insulation damage.

• Block insulation should not be used in refractory lining


systems where the hot face layer is permeable (Insulating
firebrick (IFB), lightweight castable, ceramic fiber). This
refractory can be severely damaged by acid condensation.

• Ceramic fiber materials have a good resistance to sulfuric


acid attack, but fiber insulation is easily permeated and
offers no protection against casing corrosion. Stainless steel
foil can be used as a vapor barrier between layers of
ceramic fiber. This vapor barrier should be located where the
temperature is above the dewpoint of about 300ºF. This is
usually between the first and second layers of blankets from
the casing.

• In lining systems that do not provide an effective barrier, a


glass-filled polyester protective coating should be applied to
the inside casing surface.

• Castable refractory lining systems generally offer satisfactory


service although they are not completely impermeable

• Insulating firebrick should contain less than 2.0 wt% CaO.


This generally requires that the IFB have a service
temperature of 2600ºF or greater. Sulfuric acid can react
with the CaO and cause refractory failure.

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Fuel Ash Considerations – When the fuel fired contains more


than 100 ppm vanadium and sodium, the resulting fuel ash can
cause some deterioration of the hot face refractory. Higher
concentrations (over 400 ppm) can severely attack refractory. In
these cases, dense-type refractories should be provided for the
hot face layer.

Since current Saudi Aramco fuels contain relatively low


quantities of metals, these considerations do not apply to Saudi
Aramco furnaces.

Saudi Aramco Examples – Two examples of Saudi Aramco fuel


and refractories are shown in Table 14 below.

493-F-301 - 4 015-F-100A&B
Furnace
Rheniformer Atmospheric Crude

Design Fuels: Gas Gas 0.1 vol% H2S Fuel Gas – Negative. H2S
Waste Gas – 7.6 - 8.1 vol% H2S
Oil None Fuel oil – 3.9 – 5.5 wt% Sulfur
1 – 45 ppm vanadium
< 5 ppm sodium
Wall Construction: IFB/Block Dual Layer Castable

Table 14. Examples of Saudi Aramco Fuels and Refractories

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Casing/Shell
The casing/shell provides structural support for the heater. The
casing/shell of the heater should be air tight up to about 1" water
differential pressure to prevent air leakage into the heater. Air
leakage into the heater decreases the heater efficiency since all
this air must be heated to the stack temperature.

Flue Gas Ducts and Stack


The stack has a negative pressure at its base because of the
density difference between the flue gas and the atmospheric air.
The stack and the flue gas ducts are sized for a minimal
pressure drop. Wind across the top of the stack and ambient air
and flue gas temperature changes can affect the amount of draft
in the furnace. Sometimes stack tops are modified by screens
and baffles to minimize the wind effect on draft.
Heaters with a common stack for more than one heater must
have facilities to isolate each heater from the common stack if
the heaters are maintained at different times.

Draft
The pressure at the top of the stack is the same inside and
outside the stack. The pressure at the bottom of a column of
fluid is a function of the density and the height. The pressure at
the bottom of the stack is:

PIN = Top + Height (Flue Gas Density)


POUT = Top + Height (Air Density)
Draft = (POUT – PIN)
Draft = Height (Air density – Flue Gas Density P
where: PIN = Pressure inside stack
POUT = Pressure outside stack

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Draft/Stack Height

Heaters are designed to operate at a negative pressure in the


firebox. This negative pressure is the result of the density
difference between the stack gases and the atmosphere and the
stack height. The density difference is primarily a function of
temperature, since the gases inside and outside the stack have
almost the same molecular weight and pressure. Ignoring the
effect of molecular weight and pressure simplifies the
calculation of the stack effect and has little effect on the
calculated value.

 1 1 
SE = 7.61 (H)  − 
 Ta + 460 Tg + 460 

where: SE = stack effect, inches of water


H = Height, ft.

Ta = Air temperature, °F

Tg = Flue gas temperature, °F

The stack effect should be calculated using the average


temperature of the flue gas in a section (Bridgewall
temperature). For example the flue gas in the stack is cooling as
it rises. Typical cooling of flue gas is:

Insulated stack: 30ºF per 100 ft. of stack or duct

Uninsulated stack: 50ºF per 100 ft. of stack or duct

The stack effect can also be determined using the nomograph in


Addendum B.

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The net draft available at the top of the furnace firebox is the
stack effect minus pressure drop in the stack, damper, ducting,
and convection section as illustrated in Figure 31. The stack
effect is calculated separately for each section because the
average temperature is significantly different. A typical total
pressure drop is about 0.1 – 0.5 in. H2O. A typical draft at the
top or arch of the firebox is about 0.1 – 0.2 in. H2O.

There is also a stack effect over the firebox so that the available
draft at the burners is greater than that at the top of the firebox.
The typical pressure drop across a burner (draft) is 0.2 to 0.5 in.
H2O.

The draft across a burner controls and the area of air flow
controls the airflow into a burner. The area of airflow is adjusted
by the burner air register but this adjustment can also affect the
draft.

Draft Control
(Natural Draft)
Draft is the negative pressure within the furnace. A positive draft
is a pressure below atmospheric. The amount of draft available
in the firebox depends on the pressure drop in the flue gas
system, the pressure drop across the burners and the stack
draft. Draft is controlled by both the stack damper and the
burner air registers. Figure 31, on the next page shows a draft
profile through a natural draft heater.

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Figure 31. Fuel Gas Pressure Gains and Losses

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The minimum draft occurs near the top of the radiant section
and is the point where the heater draft is usually measured. The
top of the radiant section is also called the arch or bridgewall. It
is essential that there be a draft at this point for all operating
conditions. A positive pressure (negative draft) can permit hot
gases to escape through small openings and damage the
furnace structure. When opening an observation door, it is
important to stand to the side out of the way of escaping hot flue
gases in case the heater is under positive pressure. It is also a
good idea to use goggles when using an observation door on a
natural draft furnace.

Figure 32 also shows the effect of opening and closing the


damper on the draft profile. Opening the damper increases the
draft because the pressure drop across the damper is reduced.

In general, heaters are designed to operate with a draft of about


0.1 inches of water at the arch. This provides a reasonable
cushion to allow for ambient air temperature changes, the effect
of wind, and changes in furnace operating conditions. A high
draft allows excessive cold air leakage into the furnace that
results in reducing thermal efficiency.

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With permission from the Gas Processors Suppliers Association.


Source: Engineering Data Book.

Figure 32. Furnace Natural Draft Profile

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Air Preheater
The purposes of combustion air heating or air preheating are to
improve combustion of fuels that are difficult, such as steam
cracker tar and vacuum still bottoms; to recover flue gas heat for
efficiency improvement; and to absorb excess low-pressure
steam. Air preheaters can take several forms including tubular
exchangers and rotary regenerative.

Tubular type exchangers (recuperative) exchange heat from the


hot flue gas on one side of the tubes to the cold incoming air on
the other. Steam/air preheaters are also used. Tubular air
preheaters utilize extended surfaces (fins) to reduce the
required area.

The rotary regenerative, or Ljungstrom type should not be used


for process heaters unless approved by Saudi Aramco
Engineering as specified by SAES-F-001.

SAES-F-001 specifies that the maximum air preheat


temperature shall not exceed 65ºC (149ºF) for recuperative type
air preheaters and the metal temperature of the preheater
should be above the dewpoint of the stack gases (about 300ºF)
to prevent corrosion.

Regenerative type air preheaters shown in Figure

33 and Figure
34 have the problem that soot deposited on the heating surface
may catch fire in the presence of air. Fire detection systems are
a requirement when using this type of air preheater in services
that fire liquid fuels.

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Figure 33.
Air Preheaters – Elements of a
Rotary Regenerative Air Heater

Figure 34.
Air Preheaters – Diagrammatic
Illustration of Rotary Regenerative Air
Heater (Vertical Shaft Arrangement)
With Gas and Air Counterflow

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Fuel Gas System and Burners


Gas, fuel oil, vacuum residuum, and crude oil can be fired in
Saudi Aramco heaters. Each fuel will usually have a separate
fuel system. A separate pilot gas system is also required. Fuel
gas to the burners may be natural gas or refinery fuel gas.

The purpose of the fuel system is to supply a fuel at the


conditions required by the burners for proper combustion. The
fuel pressure is controlled to the level required by the burners.
Drop out/knock out pots are used to remove liquids and solids
from the gas fuel. A screen is used to remove solids from liquid
fuels. The viscosity of liquid fuels must be controlled to that
required by the burners. Viscosity is controlled by controlling the
oil temperature.

The startup of process heaters is manual and not automatic like


boilers. As a result the automatic valves are replaced by manual
valves. Sometimes the double block and bleed used for
furnaces is replaced by a Hamer blind and a valve.

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Figure 35 shows the fuel system for the R T Naphtha Reforming


Unit.

Figure 35. Fuel Gas System Naphtha Reforming Unit

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The burners in a cylindrical heater are always upfired. The


burners in a cabin or box heater may by upfired, endwall fired or
sidewall fired. as shown in Figure 36. Saudi Aramco heaters do
not normally use endwall firing. The burners in a process heater
are natural draft burners. The burners can be designed to fire
gas, oil and a combination of gas and oil. Oil usually includes
fuel oil, residuum, and/or crude.

Source: API Standard 560, Fired Heaters for General Refinery Services , 1st Edition, January
1986. Reprinted courtesy of the American Petroleum Institute.

Figure 36. Typical Burner Arrangements - Elevation View

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Natural draft burners are used in all Saudi Aramco process


heaters. Forced draft burners would be used if a preheater were
installed on a process heater.
Burners are mechanical devices for mixing fuel and air for
combustion. The functions of burners are:
• To provide and mix the proper quantities of fuel and air.
• To provide a stable flame over operating range.
• To release heat in the desired pattern.
Burners and their combustion control systems must produce
satisfactory combustion over the range of expected operating
conditions (fuel compositions and firing rates). Burners are
expected to be reliable and to meet these requirements with
reasonable initial cost and maintenance expense.
Failure of burners to perform any of these functions adequately
can lead to inefficient combustion and/or poor flame patterns.
This can lead to localized overheating and damage to furnace
components, resulting in increased maintenance costs. This
damage can also cause a premature shutdown due to failure (or
impending failure) of critical components such as tubes, tube
supports, or the refractory lining.
Burners are available in two general types: natural-draft and
forced-draft. Either type can be used for burning gas or liquid
fuels alone, or both fuels in combination.
• Natural-draft burners are used in all Saudi Aramco process
furnaces.
• Forced-draft burners are also used in some furnaces. At this
time, none of Saudi Aramco's process heaters use forced-
draft burners.

Purge Steam/Smothering System


Steam must be used to purge the heater during startup since
the process heaters do not have fans to supply air for purging.
Steam is also used to smother tube leak fires that may occur in
the heater. A purge/smothering steam distribution system is
provided for process heater fireboxes and header boxes.

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Material Requirements
Radiant tube support materials are chosen for their high
temperature strength and resistance to oxidation. The materials
commonly used are:

ºF ºC Material Casting Plate

800 427 Carbon Steel A 216 Gr WCB A 283 Gr C


1200 649 5Cr - ½Mo A 217 Gr C5 A 387 Gr 5
1500 816 18Cr-8Ni A 351 Gr CF8 A 240, TP 304
A 297 Gr HF
1800 982 25Cr-12Ni A 447 Type II A 240, TP 309S
2000 1093 25Cr-20Ni A 351 Gr HK40 A 240, TP 310S
A 297 Gr HK

Table 15. Material Requirements


Most tube supports and guides made of alloy materials are cast.
Carbon steel supports are usually fabricated from structural
steel plate material.

Tube Material Selection

Metal temperature is one of the prime criteria for tube material


selection because the permissible stresses decrease rapidly
with temperatures over 800ºF as shown in Work Aid 3B.
Process heaters are used in many different process services.
These services involve a wide range of operating conditions,
including temperatures, pressures, and process fluids. To meet
the requirements of these services, a wide range of ferritic and
austenitic steels is used for furnace pressure parts. The most
commonly used materials are the following:
• Carbon steel
• 1¼Cr – ½ Mo
• 2¼Cr – 1Mo
• 5Cr – ½Mo
• 9Cr – 1Mo
• 18Cr – 8Ni

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The choice of materials is mainly an economic balance between


the cost of the material and its physical properties. Alloying
elements are added to the steel to improve its properties. The
most common elements are chromium, molybdenum, and
nickel. The most important physical properties in furnace tubes
are the following:
• Strength at the operating temperature
− Allowable stress curves for the materials listed above are
presented in Work Aids 3E-1 to 3E-7. The source of
these curves is API-RP-530. Curves for additional
furnace tube materials that are less commonly used are
also included in API-RP-530. For materials not in API-
RP-530, allowable stress values are to be determined by
procedures described in API-RP-530.
• Corrosion resistance
− Petroleum fluids contain corrosive elements that attack
the tube material. These are mainly sulfur compounds.
Corrosion increases rapidly as temperature increases.
• Oxidation resistance
− At the high temperatures often encountered in furnaces,
the external surface of furnace tubes can oxidize,
causing a layer of scale to form and reducing the
tubewall thickness.
• Resistance to hydrogen attack
In some services, the process fluid consists of a mixture of
hydrogen and the hydrocarbon feed. At elevated temperatures
and pressures, hydrogen will penetrate the steel and react with
carbon in the steel to form methane. This causes loss of
ductility, and failure due to cracking or blistering of the steel.
The Nelson chart (Work Aid 2) is used to select materials in
hydrogen service. In Work Aid 2, the material line is the limit of
operating conditions for that material. The operating conditions
must plot at or below the material line for the material to be
satisfactory for an application.

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Example Problem 4

If the process conditions of heater tubes in hydrogen service


were revised to 800ºF with a hydrogen partial pressure of 1400
psia, would the present carbon steel tubes be adequate for the
new service? What material would have to be used if the carbon
steel is not satisfactory?

Answer:
Refer to Work Aid 2 and plot the point 800ºF and 1400 psia
hydrogen partial pressure. The plotted point falls above the
carbon steel line and the 1.25 Cr, 0.5 Mo steel lines. These
materials are not adequate. The point is below the 2.0 Cr, 0.5
Mo steel line. The carbon steel tubes must be replaced with 2.0
Cr, 0.5 Mo steel as a minimum.

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Typical Tube Material

The following materials are commonly selected for Saudi


Aramco's furnaces, based on internal and external conditions:
• Crude oil processing units (atmospheric and vacuum
pipestills).
− The main consideration is internal corrosion, which is
caused by the sulfur in the crude oil.
+ 5Cr is used for the lower-temperature portions of the
coil.
+ 9Cr is used at higher temperatures.
• Reboilers, hydrofiners.
− In some services, the corrosion rate can be higher than
for pipestills.
+ CS is often used for low-temperature, low-corrosion
services.
+ 5Cr is used for moderate temperatures.
+ 18Cr - 8Ni is used for higher temperatures or for high
sulfur content in the process feed.
• Naphtha reformers.
− Tube material selection depends mainly upon resistance
to hydrogen attack and material strength.
+ 2¼Cr is most commonly used.
+ 5Cr or 9Cr is sometimes used at high temperatures,
particularly where external oxidation becomes limiting.
The actual materials are covered by specifications of the
American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM). The
particular tube materials suitable for use in process furnaces
and their specifications are listed in API Standard 560.

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Tube/Pipe
Specifications

Two different types of ASTM specifications can be used for


furnace tubes: pipe specifications and tube specifications. There
are minor differences in some of the material properties listed in
these specifications, but for practical purposes, the materials in
most cases are considered to be equivalent. Generally, pipe
specifications should be used, unless there is a specific reason
for using a tube specification.
The main difference between the types of specifications is in the
tolerances on tube diameter and wall thickness. Tube
specifications have a much tighter tolerance on outside
diameter. This can be important if the tube is to be rolled into a
plug header fitting, but makes little difference if the tube is to be
welded to a return bend or other fitting.
When using a pipe specification, the wall thickness is usually
specified as a nominal thickness. The minimum wall thickness
permitted by the pipe specification is 87.5% of the nominal
thickness. The wall thickness is often specified with a standard
thickness (Schedule 40, Extra Strong, etc.). When this is done,
the resulting tube is exactly the same as the pipe used
throughout the refinery. Specifying a standard wall thickness
can often improve delivery, since the tube may be stocked in the
supplier's warehouse.
When using a tube specification, the minimum required wall
thickness is usually specified. These tubes are usually custom
made to meet these specific requirements. The tolerances on
tubewall thicknesses are -0, +28% (22% in some cases). The
actual wall thickness will be somewhere between these two
limits. Experience indicates that the actual wall thickness will be
nearly the same as if a pipe specification had been used
(nominal wall thickness = minimum wall thickness / 0.875).
Thus, tube specifications are usually not used when standard
pipe size furnace tubes are required.
Diameters available with pipe specifications are standard pipe
sizes (outside diameters of 4.5 in., 5.563 in., 6.625 in., etc.).
These diameters and tube sizes (outside diameters of 5.00 in.,
6.00 in., etc.) are available with tube specifications. Tube sizes
are mainly found in very old furnaces.

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FURNACE TUBE DESIGN


Furnace tubes are designed to meet two very different design
considerations: elastic design and creep-rupture design. These
two designs are required because there is a fundamental
difference between the behavior of tubes in a furnace operating
at low temperatures and the same tubes operating at high
temperatures. The dividing line between low and high
temperatures is approximately 700 – 800°F.

At high temperatures, the steel will creep, or deform


permanently, due to the stresses in the tubewall. These
stresses are mainly caused by the pressure inside the tube.
This creep will occur even at stress levels well below the yield
strength of the steel. When the tube metal temperature is high
enough for the effects of creep to be significant, the tube will
eventually fail from creep-rupture. The Rupture Design
procedure is used in these cases. Allowable stresses are based
on the rupture strength of the material.

At lower temperatures, the effects of creep will be nonexistent or


negligible. Experience indicates that in this case the tube will
last indefinitely, or until the loss of tubewall thickness due to
corrosion and oxidation becomes significant. The Elastic Design
procedure is used in these cases. Allowable stresses are based
on the yield strength of the material.

Even at higher temperatures, with the Rupture Design


controlling, the Elastic Design procedure must be checked to
ensure that the tube has adequate strength in short-term, high-
pressure situations.

The relationship between long-term creep-rupture strength and


short-term yield and elastic design strengths is illustrated in
Work Aids 3E-1 to 3E-7, which represent materials commonly
used in furnaces.

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New Tube Minimum Thickness


When purchasing new tubes, it is common industry practice to
purchase tubes with at least the following minimum tubewall
thicknesses shown in Figure 22. These thicknesses are
equivalent to Schedule 40 Average Wall Pipe for Ferritic Steels
and Schedule 10S Average Wall Pipe for Austenitic Steels.
These minimum thicknesses for new tubes have no relationship
to the thicknesses at which tubes should be retired.

Minimum Thickness
Tube Outside Diamete
(inches)r Ferritic Steel Tubes Austenitic Steel Tubes
(inches) (inches)
2.375 0.135 0.095
2.875 0.178 0.105
3.50 0.189 0.105
4.00 0.198 0.105
4.50 0.207 0.105
5.563 0.226 0.117
6.625 0.245 0.117
8.625 0.282 0.130
10.75 0.319 0.144
Source: API Recommended Practice 530, Calculation of Heater Tube Thickness in Petroleum
Refineries, 3rd Edition, September 1988. Reprinted courtesy of the American Petroleum Institute.

Table 16. Recommended Lower Limit on the Minimum


Thickness of New Tubes

These thicknesses, or their corresponding average tubewall


thicknesses, should be used when the calculated minimum
tubewall thickness (tm) from the Elastic and Rupture Design
procedures resulted in a thinner wall.

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Minimum Corrosion Allowance

Corrosion allowance (CA), is an allowance for the internal


corrosion and external oxidation of the tube expected over its
life. This is determined by the operating conditions. Standard
560 (Par. 3.1.2) specifies that the following corbels shall be
used as a minimum:

Carbon steel through C - ½Mo: 0.125 in.


Low alloys through 5Cr - ½Mo: 0.100 in.
7Cr - ½Mo through austenitic steels: 0.050 in.

Design Conditions
Furnace tube design is based on the following design
conditions:.
Elastic design pressure (Pe), psig, is the maximum pressure that
the furnace coil could be exposed to for short periods of time (a
few hours or days). This pressure is usually related to safety
valve settings, maximum pump pressures, etc. This pressure is
higher than the normal operating pressure. This pressure is
used with the Elastic Design Procedure to ensure that the tube
does not burst when at its maximum pressure.
Rupture design pressure (Pr), psig is the normal operating
pressure that the furnace coil is exposed to over long periods of
operation. If the operating pressure changes during an
operating run, the highest operating pressure should be used.
This pressure is used with the Rupture Design Procedure to
prevent failure during the design life of the tube.
In most situations, both elastic and rupture design pressures will
vary through the coil due to the coil pressure drop. For low-
pressure or low-pressure-drop coils, it is common practice to
use a constant elastic or rupture design pressure for the entire
coil. However, in high-pressure, high-pressure-drop, or high-
temperature coils, it may be advantageous to establish different
design pressures for several sections of the coil. This may
permit the use of less expensive tubes than would otherwise be
required.

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Design tube metal temperature (Td), ºF This is the maximum


calculated tube metal temperature of the coil, plus a safety
margin. For Saudi Aramco furnaces this margin is 50ºF
(SAES-F-001, par. 3.1.3). The maximum tube metal
temperature is calculated for each section of the coil with
different heat transfer characteristics.

Tubewall Thickness
Furnace tubes are designed using the mean-diameter equation
for stress in a tube. This equation gives good results for thin-
walled tubes (tubes with a thickness/outside diameter ratio of
less than 0.15). All tubes in Saudi Aramco's furnaces are in this
category.

P  Do 
S=  − 1 (Eqn. 1)
2 t 

where: S = Tubewall stress, psi.


P = Internal pressure, psig.
Do = Outside diameter of the tube, in.

t = Tubewall thickness, in.

Work Aid 3A contains a procedure for calculating tubewall


thicknesses. The Example Problem 6 illustrates the use of
Work Aid 3A.

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Elastic Stress Design

The following equations are used for the minimum tubes


thickness using the Elastic Design Basis:

Pe Do
ts = (Eqn. 2)
2 Se + Pe

tm = ts + CA (Eqn.3)

where: ts = Minimum tubewall thickness to meet the


stress conditions, in.
tm = Minimum required tubewall thickness for a
new tube, including corrosion allowances, in.
Pe = Elastic design pressure, as discussed above,
psig.
Do = Outside diameter of the tube, in.

Se = Elastic allowable stress, psi. This is a


function of Td, the design tube metal
temperature, and is obtained from the table
in Work Aid 3B or from the graphs in Work
Aids 3E-1 to 3E-7.
CA = Corrosion allowance, as discussed above, in.

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Stress Rupture
Design

The following equations are used for the design of furnace tubes
using the Rupture Design Basis:
Pr Do
ts = (Eqn.4)
2S r + Pr
tm = t s + f CA (Eqn. 5)
where: ts = Minimum tubewall thickness to meet the
stress conditions, in.
tm = Minimum required tubewall thickness for a
new tube, including corrosion allowances,
in.
Pr = Rupture design pressure, (operating
pressure as discussed above), psig.
Do = Outside diameter of the tube, in.
Sr = Rupture allowable stress, psi. This is a
function of Td, the design tube metal
temperature, and the tube design life. This
stress is obtained from the table in Work Aid
3B or from the graphs in Work Aids 3E-1 to
3E-7.
For Saudi Aramco furnace tubes, Sr is
based on a design tube life of 100,000
hours, using the minimum rupture strength
of the material. (SAES-F-001, Par. 3.1)
CA = Corrosion allowance, as discussed above,
in.
f = Corrosion fraction. This is the fraction of the
design corrosion allowance that must be
added to the stress thickness to obtain the
design tube life of a tube with no corrosion.
This fraction takes credit for the reduction in
stress in a new tube caused by the addition
of a corrosion allowance. At these lower
stresses, rupture tube life is increased. As
the corrosion allowance is used, the
stresses increase. When the entire
corrosion allowance has been used, the
stresses are equal than the rupture design
stress.

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The corrosion fraction, f, is obtained from Work Aid 3D. It is a


function of two quantities:
n = Rupture exponent at the design tube metal
temperature. This is obtained from Work Aid 3C.
B = CA/ts. This is the ratio of corrosion allowance to stress
thickness.
To calculate the tubewall thickness in Work Aid 3A, it is
necessary to obtain data from Work Aids 3B to 3E.
Work Aid 3B and Work Aids 3E-1 to 3E-7 are used to determine
the allowable elastic and creep-rupture stresses for several
common furnace tube materials. To use this table, find the
design tube metal temperature in the left column and read
across to the right to determine the elastic and creep stresses
for the material used. The allowable materials are listed on the
first row. Stresses for intermediate temperatures can be
interpolated from the data in Work Aid 3B.
Work Aid 3C and Work Aids 3E-1 to 3E-7 are used to determine
the rupture exponent at the design tube metal temperature. To
use this Work Aid, locate the design temperature on the x axis,
read up to the curve, and locate the rupture exponent on the y
axis. Curves for other materials can be found in API RP 530.
Work Aid 3D is used to determine the corrosion fraction. To use
this Work Aid, find parameter B, calculated in Work Aid 3A, on
the x axis, read up to the appropriate curve for the rupture
exponent, and read the corrosion fraction on the y axis. The
exponent is located at the upper right curve of the graph.
Work Aids 3E-1 to 3E-7 present the same information as Work
Aids 3B and 3C except in graphical rather than tabular form.
Use these graphs as described above for Work Aid 3B, except
instead of reading the material on the top row, find the
appropriate graphs and read the line corresponding to the
information you need. Larsen-Miller values are also included in
Work Aids 3E-1 to 3E-7.

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Example Problem 5

A furnace is operating at 500 psig. and has a design pressure of


550 psig. The tubes are 304 SS 6 inch pipe with and outside
diameter of 6.625 in. Corrosion of 0.13 in. may occur before the
next turnaround. One tube has a minimum thickness of 0.258 in.
and operates at a design metal temperature of 1100ºF. Should
this tube be replaced.

Use Work Aids 3A, 3B, and 3E-6

Given: Do = 6.625 in.


Pe = 550 psig.
Td = 1100 ºF
CA = 0.13 in.

From Work Aid 3B or Work Aid 3E-6 for 304 SS


Se = 13,500 psi.

Calculate thickness required for stress by equation 2.

Pe Do
ts = (Eqn. 2)
2 Se + Pe

(550) (6.625)
= 0.1323 in.
2 (13,500) + 550

Minimum metal thickness requires the addition of the corrosion


allowance
Tm = ts + CA = 013223 + 0.13 = 0.2623 in.

Since the tube has only 0.258 in. thickness and 0.2623 in. is
required, the tube should be replaced.

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ESTIMATION OF REMAINING TUBE LIFE


In addition to designing new tubes, API-RP-530 procedures can
be used to assist in evaluating old tubes for re-rating or
retirement. These procedures can also be used to estimate the
rupture life used up as a result of previous operations, and the
remaining tube life. However, there are significant uncertainties
in these calculations, so decisions on re-rating or retirement
cannot be based solely on calculations. Other factors, such as
tube thickness and diameter-strain measurements, should be
primary considerations in decisions about tube retirement.
These factors are discussed below in the section on Tube
Retirement Decisions.
Uncertainties in these calculations come from the following:
• The operating history of the tube must be established,
including operating pressure, tube metal temperature, and
corrosion rate. This is very difficult to do, and any
uncertainties in these factors, particularly temperature, will
have a significant effect on the quality of the calculations.
• Knowledge of the actual rupture strength of the tube is not
precise. This is a function of many variables. In order to
make the calculations conservative, minimum rupture
strength should be used.
• The linear damage rule asserts that creep-rupture will occur
when the life fraction totals unity. Although this rule is widely
accepted and used, the true behavior of the material may not
be entirely consistent with this rule.

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The estimation of accumulated tube damage is illustrated in the


Example Problem 7. This consists of the following steps:

1. The operating history is divided into periods of time with


reasonably uniform operating conditions. Although
pressure and temperatures are not totally uniform, they
must be assumed to be so for these calculations, and
typical values are chosen. The operating periods need not
be of uniform length.

2. Tubewall thicknesses must be approximated. These should


be developed from thickness measurements made before
the initial startup and during routine inspections.

3. Tubewall stresses are calculated using the mean-diameter


equation (Eqn. 1). The average stress for each operating
period is determined. This is the average of the stress at
the beginning and the end of the period.

4. The life fraction used up is calculated for each period. This


calculation uses the Larson-Miller parameter to estimate
tube life at the given operating condition. The sum of the
life fractions for each operating period represents the total
accumulated tube damage. The difference between this
and unity is the remaining life fraction.

The Larson-Miller parameter relates tube stress,


temperature, and rupture life. The Larson-Miller equation
used for each material can be found at the top right corner
of Work Aids 3E-1 to 3E-7.

5. The remaining life fraction can be transformed into an


estimate of the expected life at a specified operating
condition.

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Example Problem 6

The following sample problem illustrates the use of Work Aid 3A to calculate the
required thickness of furnace tubes.
Reference: API RP 530, Section 4.3 Sample Problem
Material Type 347 ASTM Spec A213
Use Work Aid 3B or 3E-7.
Given:
Outside diameter Do = 6.625 in.

Design pressures: Elastic Pe = 900 psig

Rupture Pr = 840 psig

Design tube metal temperature Td = 1300 ºF

Corrosion Allowance CA = 0.125 in.


Design tube life Ld =hr 100,000 (11.4 yrs)

Solution: Elastic Design Rupture Design

Allowable stresses: Elastic: Se = 16,400 psi

(Work Aid 3B or 3E-1 to 3E-7) Sr = 5450 psi


Rupture:
Elastic stress thickness:
Pe Do (900)(6.625)
t se = =
2Se + Pe 2(16,400) + (900)

tse = 0.177 in.

tm (elastic) = tse + CA tme = 0.302 in.

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Rupture stress thickness:


PrDo (840)(6.625)
t sr = =
2Sr + Pr 2(5450) + (840)

tsr = 0.474 in.

Corrosion fraction:
n = 4.4
B = 0.264

f = 0.558
tm (rupture) = ts(rupture) + f CA [0.558 (0.125)] tmr = 0.544 in.
0.474 + 0.070

Required minimum tubewall thickness tm = 0.544 in.


(Rupture Design governs)
Nominal wall thickness ta = tm /0.875 = 0.622 in.

Actual wall thickness specified (min/avg) = 0.544 in.


Data extracted from API Recommended Practice 530, Calculation of Heater Tube Thickness in Petroleum
Refineries, 3rd Edition, September 1988. Reprinted courtesy of the American Petroleum Institute.

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Example Problem 7

The following example illustrates the procedure for estimating the remaining life of a
furnace tube.
Given: Material: Type 347 Stainless Steel
Outside diameter: 6.625 in.
Initial minimum thickness: 0.268 in.
Approximate Operating History

Tube Metal Minimum Thickness


Operating Duration Operating Pressure
Period yr P, psig Temperature Beginning End
Td, ºF in. in.
1 1.3 575 1200 0.268 0.252
2 0.6 620 1230 0.252 0.244
3 2.1 590 1220 0.244 0.217
4 2.0 630 1230 0.217 0.190

PART 1: Calculate Estimated accumulated damage & remaining life.

Step 1. Calculate stress at beginning and end of period using equation 1. Calculate
average stress.

For Period 1:

P  Do 
S=  − 1 (Eqn. 1) from pg. 92
2 t 

575  6.625 
=  − 1
2  t 

Begin: t = 0.268 S = 6819.5 psi.


End: t = 0.252 S = 7270.8 psi.
Average = 7045 psi.

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Step 2: Use Work Aid 3E-7 and average stress to find minimum and average Larson-
Miller (LM) values
Enter Work Aid 3E-7 with stress of 7045 on left and go to diagonal line
labeled “Minimum rupture strength” and then read LM value of 34.3 at top.
Enter Work Aid 3E-7 with stress of 7045 on left and go to diagonal line
labeled “Average rupture strength” and then read LM value of 33.1 at top.

Step 3: Calculate life at this condition using equation at the top of Work Aid 3E-7 for
both minimum strength and average strength.

For minimum strength:

(Td + 460) (15 + log Lr) 10-3 = Larson-Miller Value

(1200 + 460) (15 + log Lr) 10-3 = 34.32

Solving:
log Lr = 5.67

Lr = 473,000 hr = 54 yr

Step 4: Calculate life fraction for both minimum and average strength

For minimum strength:

Life fraction = Duration/Lr = 1.3/54 = 0.024 or 0.02

Step 5: Calculate “Estimated accumulated damage” which equals sum of life fraction.

Step 6: Calculate “Estimated remaining life” which equals 1 - “Estimated accumulated


damage”

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PART 1: Solution:
Using Eqn. (1), calculate the stress at the beginning and end of each operating period.
Use the average of these stresses with the Larson-Miller parameter to estimate the life
fraction expended in each period.

Time Based on
Average Larson-Miller Values Time Based on
Average
Stress (LM) Minimum Strength
Strength
Operating psi Minimum Average yr Life Fraction yr Life
Period Fraction

1 7045 34.32 35.09 54.0 0.02 157 0.01


2 7973 33.90 34.66 13.1 0.05 36.8 0.02
3 8213 33.80 34.55 15.0 0.14 42.0 0.05
4 9985 33.15 33.90 4.7 0.43 13.1 0.15
Estimated accumulated damage = 0.64 0.23
Estimated remaining life = 0.36 0.77
Data extracted from API Recommended Practice 530, Calculation of Heater Tube Thickness in Petroleum
Refineries, 3rd Edition, September 1988. Reprinted courtesy of the American Petroleum Institute.

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PART 2: Is the tube suitable for one additional year of operation at the following
conditions?
Operating pressure = 620 psig
Metal temperature = 1200ºF
Corrosion rate = 0.013 in./yr

Step 1: Calculate thickness at end of period by subtracting corrosion expected.

Step 2: Calculate average stress using equation 1.

Step 3: Find LM values from Work Aid 3E-7.

Step 4: Calculate rupture time (Lr) from equation at top of Work Aid 3E-7.

Step 5: Calculate life fraction = Duration/Lr and total accumulated damage.

Step 6: Calculate remaining fraction = 1 - accumulated life fraction.

PART 2: Solution:

Time Minimum Avg Minimum Rupture Accum. Remaining


yr Thickness Stress Larson-Miller time Damage Fraction
in. psi Value yr Fraction

0 0.190 - - - 0.64 0.36


1 0.177 10,896 32.85 4.1 0.24 0.12

Estimated accumulated damage = 0.88 = (0.64 + 0.24)


Estimated remaining life = 0.12 = (1 - 0.88)
Check elastic thickness required

Pe Do (620)(6.625)
t se = = = 0.116 in.
2Se + Pe 2(17,400) + (620)

This is less than remaining thickness of 0.177 in. at end of period

Conclusion: Based on the estimated operating conditions over the life of the tube, it is
adequate for the proposed operation. Note that these calculations were
based on minimum rupture strengths.

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Tube Retirement Decision


As discussed above, there are many uncertainties in the
estimation of the remaining tube life. Since the calculations are
meant to be conservative, relying on the estimates will in most
cases lead to premature retirement of the tubes. Decisions
about retiring the tubes, therefore, should not be based solely
on the calculations.
If the calculations indicate that the tube life fraction is small, the
tubes should be physically examined. The diameter of the tubes
can be measured with a caliper and the actual thickness of the
tubewall can be measured with an ultrasonic thickness
instrument. The measurements will determine the actual
condition of the tubes. These measurements are more accurate
than the calculations, but are not routinely done because of the
cost involved.

Safety Instruction Sheet


For process heaters (furnaces), Safety Instruction Sheet (SIS)
are required to provide operating, maintenance and inspection
personnel with important information about this pressure-
containing equipment. For furnace tubes Saudi Aramco
Form 2731 – Fired Heaters is required (shown in Addendum A).

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WORK AID 1: RESOURCES USED TO CALCULATE HEATING VALUE


The heating value of a mixture is calculated as the sum product
of the volume fraction and the heating value per volume of that
fraction. The example below shows that calculation. Recalculate
the LHV of the refinery gas in Example Problem 1 in Btu/ft3.

Vol. %

Hydrogen, H2 = 5.1
Methane, CH4 = 86.4
Ethane, C2H6 = 8.3
Propane, C3H8 = 0.2

Total = 100.0

Answer:

Volume LHV Vol. Fr. X


3
Fraction BTU/ft LHV

Hydrogen 0.051 273 13.9


Methane 0.864 911 787.1
Ethane 0.083 1631 135.4
Propane 0.002 2353 4.7

Total 1.000 941.1


3
Mixture LHV is 941 Btu/ft

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WORK AID 2: RESOURCES USED TO SELECT MATERIAL FOR


HYDROGEN SERVICE

Figure 37. Operating Limits For Steels In Hydrogen Service

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WORK AID 3: RESOURCES USED TO CALCULATE TUBE WALL


THICKNESS

Work Aid 3A: Procedure to Calculate Tube Wall Thickness


The following procedure can be used to calculate the required thickness of furnace
tubes.
Furnace Unit Plant Location
Coil Material ASTM Spec.

Given:
Outside diameter Do = in.

Design pressures: Elastic Pe = psig

Rupture Pr = psig

Design tube metal temperature Td = ºF

Corrosion Allowance CA = in.


Design tube life Ld = hr

Elastic Design Rupture Design

Solution:

Allowable stresses: Elastic: Se = psi

(Work Aid 3B or 3E-1 to 3E-7)


Rupture: Sr = psi

Elastic stress thickness:


( )( )
=
2( )+ ( )

tse = in.

tm (elastic) = tse + CA tme = in.

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Rupture Design

Rupture stress thickness:


PrDo ( )( )
t sr = =
2Sr + Pr 2( )+ ( )

tsr = in.

Corrosion fraction:
Rupture exponent (Work Aid 3C and 3E-1 to 3E-7) n =
B = CA/ts(rupture) = ( )/( ) B =

Resulting Corrosion fraction (Work Aid 3D) f =

tm (rupture) = ts(rupture) + fCA tmr = in.

Lower limit on min. wall thickness (Figure 1) = in.

Required minimum tubewall thickness tm = in.

Nominal wall thickness ta = tm/0.875 = in.

Actual wall thickness specified (min/avg) = in.

To calculate the tubewall thickness in Work Aid 3A, it is


necessary to obtain data from Work Aids 3B to 3E-7.

Work Aid 3B is used to determine the allowable elastic and


creep-rupture stresses
for several common furnace tube materials. To use this table,
find the design tube metal temperature in the left column and
read across to the right to determine the elastic and creep
stresses for the material used. The allowable materials are
listed on the first row. Stresses for intermediate temperatures
can be interpolated from the data in Work Aid 3B.

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Work Aid 3C is used to determine the rupture exponent at the


design tube metal temperature. To use this Work Aid, locate the
design temperature on the x axis, read up to the curve, and
locate the rupture exponent on the y axis. Curves for other
materials can be found in API RP 530.

Work Aid 3D is used to determine the corrosion fraction. To use


this Work Aid, find parameter B, calculated in Work Aid 3A, on
the x axis, read up to the appropriate curve for the rupture
exponent, and read the corrosion fraction on the y axis. The
exponent is located at the upper right curve of the graph.

Work Aids 3E-1 to 3E-7 present the same information as Work


Aid 3B except in graphical rather than tabular form. Use these
graphs as described above for Work Aid 3B, except instead of
reading the material on the top row, find the appropriate graphs
and read the line corresponding to the information you need.

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Work Aid 3B: Tabular List of Tube Material Elastic and


Creep-Rupture Stresses

Elastic and Creep-Rupture Stress, psi

A-213, 271,
A-53 Gr. B A-213 T11 A-213 T22 A-213 TS A-213 T9 312, 316
A-106 Gr. B A-161 T1 A-335 P11 A-335 P22 A-335 PS A-335 P9 Types 304,
Med. Carbon A-335 T1 A-200 T11* A-200 T22* A-200 T5* A-200 T9* 304H
Steel C-1/2 Mo 1 1/4Cr-1/2Mo 2 1/4Cr-1Mo 5Cr-1/2 Mo 9Cr-1 Mo 18Cr-8Ni
Temp. Elastic Creep Elastic Creep Elastic Creep Elastic Creep Elastic Creep Elastic Creep Elastic Creep
ºF(1) Stress Stress Stress Stress Stress Stress Stress Stress Stress Stress Stress Stress Stress Stress

700 15,800 20,800 15,700 15,250 18,000 16,800 15,900 16,000


750 15,500 16,900 15,400 15,000 18,000 16,500 15,500 15,700
800 15,000 13,250 15,000 14,600 17,900 15,900 15,100 15,400
850 14,250 10,200 14,500 14,250 17,500 15,200 14,500 15,100
900 13,500 7,500 14,000 17,500 13,800 17,500 17,100 16,700 14,400 13,250 13,750 20,500 14,750
950 12,600 5,400 13,400 10,250 13,300 10,900 16,500 12,100 13,500 9,600 13,000 13,750 14,400
1,000 11,500 3,700 12,700 5,900 12,800 6,700 15,750 8,700 12,400 7,000 12,100 9,300 14,200
1,050 11,900 3,400 12,100 4,150 14,750 6,400 11,300 5,100 11,200 6,200 13,800 15,500
1,100 10,900 2,000 11,400 2,600 13,600 4,600 10,250 3,700 10,100 13,500 13,500 12,200
1,150 12,300 3,150 9,200 2,700 9,000 2,750 13,100 9,600
1,200 10,700 1,750 8,200 1,950 7,700 1,860 12,700 7,500
1,250 6,450 1,250 12,300 5,900

* Elastic stresses for A200 materials are approximately 83% of stresses listed.
Notes:
1. For intermediate temperatures, stresses can be obtained by interpolation. For
higher temperatures, see Work Aids 3E-1 to 3E-7.
Source: API Recommended Practice 530, Calculation of Heater Tube Thickness in Petroleum
Refineries, 3rd Edition, September 1988. Reprinted courtesy of the American Petroleum Institute.

Table 17. Furnace Tube Materials

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Work Aid 3C: Graph to Determine Rupture Exponent

Source: API Recommended Practice 530, Calculation of Heater Tube Thickness in Petroleum
Refineries, 3rd Edition, September 1988. Reprinted courtesy of the American Petroleum Institute.

Figure 38. Rupture Exponent

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Work Aid 3D: Graph to Determine Corrosion Fraction

Tube Thickness in Petroleum Refineries, 3rd Edition, September 1988. Reprinted courtesy of the
American Petroleum Institute.

Figure 39. Corrosion Fraction

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Work Aid 3E: Graphs of Tube Material Elastic and Creep-Rupture


Stresses

Work Aid 3E-1: Medium Carbon Steel ASTM A 53 GRADE B


(Seamless) A 106 Grade B, A210 Grade A-1

Source: API Recommended Practice 530, Calculation of Heater Tube Thickness in Petroleum
Refineries, 3rd Edition, September 1988. Reprinted courtesy of the American Petroleum Institute.

Figure 40. Medium Carbon Steel ASTM A 53 GRADE B

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Work Aid 3E-2: 1¼Cr – ½MO Steel, ASTM A 213 T11, A 335 P11,
A200 T11

Source: API Recommended Practice 530, Calculation of Heater Tube Thickness in Petroleum
Refineries, 3rd Edition, September 1988. Reprinted courtesy of the American Petroleum Institute.

Figure 41. 1¼Cr – ½Mo Steel, ASTM A 213 T11, A 335 P11, A200 T11

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Work Aid 3E-3: 2¼CR – 1MO Steel, ASTM A 213 T22, A 335 P22,
A 200 T22

Source: API Recommended Practice 530, Calculation of Heater Tube Thickness in Petroleum
Refineries, 3rd Edition, September 1988. Reprinted courtesy of the American Petroleum Institute.

Figure 42. 2¼Cr - 1Mo Steel, ASTM A 213 T22, A 335 P22, A 200 T22

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Work Aid 3E-4: 5CR–½MO Steel, ASTM A 213 T5, A 335 P5, A 200 T5

Source: API Recommended Practice 530, Calculation of Heater Tube Thickness in Petroleum
Refineries, 3rd Edition, September 1988. Reprinted courtesy of the American Petroleum Institute.

Figure 43. 5Cr-½Mo Steel, ASTM A 213 T5, A 335 P5, A 200 T5

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Work Aid 3E-5: 9CR – 1MO Steel, ASTM A 213 T9, A 335 P9, A 200 T9

Source: API Recommended Practice 530, Calculation of Heater Tube Thickness in Petroleum
Refineries, 3rd Edition, September 1988. Reprinted courtesy of the American Petroleum Institute.

Figure 44. 9Cr - 1Mo Steel, ASTM A 213 T9, A 335 P9, A 200 T9

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Work Aid 3E-6: Types 304 and 304H Stainless Steel, ASTM A 213,
A 271, A 312, A 376

Source: API Recommended Practice 530, Calculation of Heater Tube Thickness in Petroleum
Refineries, 3rd Edition, September 1988. Reprinted courtesy of the American Petroleum Institute.

Figure 45. Types 304 and 304H Stainless Steel, ASTM A 213, A 271, A312, A 376

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Work Aid 3E-7: Types 347 AND 347H Stainless Steel, ASTM A 213,
A 271, A 312, A 376

Source: API Recommended Practice 530, Calculation of Heater Tube Thickness in Petroleum
Refineries, 3rd Edition, September 1988. Reprinted courtesy of the American Petroleum Institute.

Figure 46. Types 347 and 347H Stainless Steel, ASTM A 213, A 271, A 312, A 376

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WORK AID 4: RESOURCES USED TO ESTIMATE REMAINING TUBE


LIFE
The following example illustrates the procedure for estimating the remaining life of a
furnace tube.
Given: Material: Type 347 Stainless Steel
Outside diameter: 6.625 in.
Initial minimum thickness: 0.268 in.

Approximate Operating History

Tube Metal Minimum Thickness


Operating Duration Operating Pressure
Period yr P, psig Temperature Beginning End
Td, ºF in. in.

1 1.3 575 1200 0.268 0.252


2 0.6 620 1230 0.252 0.244
3 2.1 590 1220 0.244 0.217
4 2.0 630 1230 0.217 0.190

PART 1: Calculate Estimated accumulated damage & remaining life.

Step 1. Calculate stress at beginning and end of period using equation 1. Calculate
average stress.

For Period 1:

P  Do 
S=  − 1 (Eqn. 1) from pg. 93
2 t 

575  6.625 
=  − 1
2  t 

Begin: t = 0.268 S = 6819.5 psi.


End: t = 0.252 S = 7270.8 psi.
Average = 7045 psi.

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Step 2: Use Work Aid 3E-7 and average stress to find minimum and average
Larson-Miller (LM) values
Enter Work Aid 3E-7 with stress of 7045 on left and go to diagonal line
labeled “Minimum rupture strength” and then read LM value of 34.3 at top.
Enter Work Aid 3E-7 with stress of 7045 on left and go to diagonal line
labeled “Average rupture strength” and then read LM value of 33.1 at top.

Step 3: Calculate life at this condition using equation at the top of Work Aid 3E-7 for
both minimum strength and average strength.

For minimum strength:

(Td + 460) (15 + log Lr) 10-3 = Larson-Miller Value

(1200 + 460) (15 + log Lr) 10-3 = 34.32

Solving:

log Lr = 5.67

Lr = 473,000 hr = 54 yr

Step 4: Calculate life fraction for both minimum and average strength

For minimum strength:

Life fraction = Duration/Lr = 1.3/54 = 0.024 or 0.02

Step 5: Calculate “Estimated accumulated damage” which equals sum of life fraction.

Step 6: Calculate “Estimated remaining life” which equals 1 - “Estimated accumulated


damage”

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PART 1: Solution:
Using Eqn. (1), calculate the stress at the beginning and end of each operating period.
Use the average of these stresses with the Larson-Miller parameter to estimate the life
fraction expended in each period.

Time Based on
Average Larson-Miller Values Time Based on Average
Stress (LM) Minimum Strength Strength

Operating psi Minimum Average yr Life Fraction yr Life


Period Fraction

1 7045 34.32 35.09 54.0 0.02 157 0.01


2 7973 33.90 34.66 13.1 0.05 36.8 0.02
3 8213 33.80 34.55 15.0 0.14 42.0 0.05
4 9985 33.15 33.90 4.7 0.43 13.1 0.15
Estimated accumulated damage = 0.64 0.23
Estimated remaining life = 0.36 0.77
Data extracted from API Recommended Practice 530, Calculation of Heater Tube Thickness in Petroleum
Refineries, 3rd Edition, September 1988. Reprinted courtesy of the American Petroleum Institute.

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PART 2: Is the tube suitable for one additional year of operation at the following
conditions?

Operating pressure = 620 psig


Metal temperature = 1200ºF
Corrosion rate = 0.013 in./yr
Step 1: Calculate thickness at end of period by subtracting corrosion expected.
Step 2: Calculate average stress using equation 1.
Step 3: Find LM values from Work Aid 3E-7.
Step 4: Calculate rupture time (Lr) from equation at top of Work Aid 3E-7.
Step 5: Calculate life fraction = Duration/Lr and total accumulated damage.
Step 6: Calculate remaining fraction = 1 - accumulated life fraction.

PART 2: Solution:

Minimum Average Minimum Accum.


Time Thickness Stress Larson-Miller Rupture Damage Remaining
yr in. psi Value time yr Fraction Fraction

0 0.190 - - - 0.64 0.36


1 0.177 10,896 32.85 4.1 0.24 0.12

Estimated accumulated damage = 0.88 (0.64 + 0.24)


Estimated remaining life = 0.12
Check elastic thickness required

Pe Do (620)(6.625)
t se = = = 0.116 in.
2Se + Pe 2(17,400) + (620)

This is less than remaining thickness of 0.177 in. at end of period

Conclusion: Based on the estimated operating conditions over the life of the tube, it is
adequate for the proposed operation. Note that these calculations were
based on minimum rupture strengths.

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GLOSSARY

air preheater Heat exchanger that heats the air required for combustion
by exchanging heat with the flue gases leaving the
convection section, or with another fluid of higher
temperature.

arch Flat or sloped portion of radiant section opposite floor.

box Burners and tubes are enclosed in the firebox, which


consists of a structure, refractory lining, and tube supports.

breeching Hood that collects flue gas at the convection section exit, for
transmission to the stack or the outlet ductwork.

Bridgewall temperature Temperature of flue gas leaving radiant section. Term


comes from the old horizontal box heaters, where a
bridgewall physically separated the radiant and convection
sections.

burner Device for mixing fuel and air for combustion.

casing Steel sheathing that encloses the heater box and makes it
essentially airtight.

cell Portion of the radiant section, separated from other cells by


tubes or a refractory wall. Also called a zone.

center wall Refractory wall in the radiant section, which divides it into
two separate cells.

coil Series of straight tube lengths connected by 180º return


bends, forming a continuous path through which the
process fluid passes and is heated.

convection section The portion of a heater, consisting of a bank of tubes, which


receives heat from the hot flue gases, mainly by convection.

corbel Projection from the convection section sidewall to prevent


flue gas from flowing up the side of the convection section,
between the wall and the nearest tubes, thereby bypassing
the tube bank.

corrosion allowance Corrosion rate times the design life, expressed in inches.

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corrosion fraction The fraction of the design corrosion allowance that must be
added to the stress thickness to obtain design tube life of a
tube with no corrosion.

corrosion rate Reduction in tubewall thickness of tube material due to


chemical attack from process fluid and/or flue gas,
expressed in mils (thousandths of an inch) per year.

creep Deformation of the metal at high temperatures due to


stresses in the tubewall.

crossover Interconnecting piping, either internal or external, between


any two heater coil sections.

damper A device to regulate flow of gas through a stack or duct and


to control draft in a heater. A typical damper consists of a
flat plate connected to a shaft that can be rotated, similar to
a butterfly valve.

design life Operating time used as a basis for tube design. Design life
is not necessarily the same as the retirement or
replacement life. Expressed in hours.

design metal temperature Tube metal, or skin, temperature used for design. Normally
determined by calculating maximum tube metal temperature
and adding appropriate temperature allowance. Expressed
in ºF.

draft Negative pressure (vacuum) at a given point inside the


heater, usually expressed in inches of water.

elastic allowable stress Allowable stress for the elastic range, expressed in psi.

elastic design pressure Maximum pressure that the heater coil will sustain for short
periods of time, expressed in psig.

extended surface Surface added to outside of bare tubes in the convection


section. Provides more heat transfer area. May consist of
cylindrical studs butt welded to the tube, or fins continuously
wound around and welded to the tube.

firebox A term used to describe the structure which surrounds the


radiant coils and into which the burners protrude.

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flue gas A mixture of gaseous products resulting from combustion of


the fuel.

forced draft Use of a fan to supply combustion air to the burners and to
overcome the pressure drop through the burners.

header Fitting that connects two tubes in a coil. In common usage,


header refers to cast or forged 180º U-bends (return
bends).

header box Compartment at end of the convection section where


headers are located. There is no flue gas flow in the header
box, since it is separated from the inside of the furnace by
an insulated tubesheet. Header boxes are sometimes used
in the radiant section and are required with plug type
headers.

heat duty Total heat absorbed by process fluid, usually expressed in


MBtu/hr (million Btu per hour). Total furnace duty is the sum
of heat transferred to all process streams, including auxiliary
services such as stream superheaters and drier coils.

hip section Transition zone at top of radiant section in cabin type


furnaces. Wall of this section is usually at a 45º angle.

natural draft System in which the draft required to move combustion air
into the furnace, and flue gas through the furnace and out
the stack, is provided by stack effect alone.

observation doors Openings in the radiant section floor and at selected points
along the walls, to permit viewing of tubes, supports, and
burners.

pass A coil that transports the process fluid from furnace inlet to
outlet. Total process fluid can be transported through the
furnace by one or more parallel passes.

plug-type header Return bend, normally cast, that is provided with one or
more openings for the purpose of inspection, mechanical
cleaning, or draining. A variety of closure devices can be
used.

radiant section Section of furnace in which heat is transferred to furnace


tubes primarily by radiation from high-temperature flue gas.

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rupture allowable stress Allowable stress for the creep-rupture range, expressed in
psi.

rupture design pressure Maximum operating pressure that the coil section will
sustain during normal operation, expressed in psig.

rupture exponent A parameter used for design in the creep-rupture range.

setting Furnace casing, brickwork, refractory, and insulation,


including the tiebacks or anchors.

sootblower A steam lance (usually movable) in the convection section


for blowing soot and ash from the tubes, using high-
pressure steam.

stack Cylindrical steel, concrete, or brick shell that carries flue gas
to the atmosphere and provides necessary draft and
description of flue gases.

stack effect Difference (buoyancy) between weight of a column of high-


temperature gases inside the furnace and/or stack, and the
weight of an equivalent column of external air, usually
expressed in inches of water per foot of height.

stack temperature Temperature of the flue gas as it leaves the convection


section, or air preheater, directly upstream of the stack.

tube support Metal part that supports the weight of one or more tubes.

tubesheet Large tube support plate supporting a number of tubes.

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ADDENDUM A: SAUDI ARAMCO FORM 2731

Table 18. Saudi Aramco Form 2731 - Fired Heaters

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ADDENDUM B: STACK EFFECT

Figure 47. Stack Effect

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ADDENDUM C: HEATER DESIGN BASIS

Max Allow. Design Fouling Factor


Basis (SAES-F-001) Mobil Engr. Guide
Service
kW/sq. m Btu/hr ft2 m sq. ºC/W ft sq. ºF/Btu/hr
Asphalt Heaters 31.5 10,000 0.00070 0.004
Circulating service heaters 19.0 6,000 0.00035 0.002
Crude Heaters (Atm. & Vac.) 31.5 10,000 0.00053 0.003
Reboilers 31.5 10,000 0.00026 0.0015
Reduced crude lube-heaters 22.0 7,000 0.00070 0.004
Thermal cracking heaters
Oil fired 25.2 8,000 0.00070 0.004
Gas fired 28.4 9,000 0.00070 0.004
All other services 37.9 12,000 – –

Table 19. Heater Maximum Design Basis (SAES-F-001) and Fouling Factors

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REFERENCES
SAES-A-005 Safety Instruction Sheets

SAES-F- 001 Process Fired Heaters

SAES-J-600 Process Heater

SAES-J-603 Process Heater Burner Safety System

SAES-N-100 Refractory Systems

SAES-N-110 Installation Requirements – Castable


Refractories

SAES-N-130 Installation Requirements – Fireday Bricks

SAES-N-140 Installation Requirements – Refractory


Ceramic Fiber

34-SAMSS-619 Flame Monitoring and Burner Management


Systems

API-RP-530 Calculation of Heater – Tube Thickness in


Petroleum Refineries

API-STD-560 Fired Heaters for General Refractory


Services

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