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TUESDAY, JUNE 13 | 10:00 A.M. – 11:30 A.M.

Strategies for Mitigating Ethanol and Methanol Stress Corrosion Cracking

The mandate for the use of biofuels has resulted in increased risk of stress corrosion cracking-
related incidents caused by inadequate practices in the transport, handling and storage of
ethanol and methanol. A panel of industry experts and facility operators will discuss the causes
and effects of stress corrosion cracking. Sharing case studies and lessons learned, the panel
will reveal effective practices for addressing stress corrosion cracking from methanol and ethanol
at terminal facilities.



Daniel Leslie is a project engineer at Marathon Petroleum Company. He has 10 years of

experience in industry, with five years’ experience in the refining and petrochemical industry.
Leslie holds a Bachelor’s degree in chemical engineering and a Master’s degree in civil and
environmental engineering from The University of Akron.


John Beaver, Ph.D., is a Corporate Vice President and Senior Principal Engineer in DNV GL’s
Pipeline Services Department, North American Oil and Gas. He is in the Incident Investigation
Section of DNV GL’s Materials and Corrosion Technology Center in Dublin, OH. His current job
responsibilities include providing technical support on failure analyses, root cause analyses,
litigation projects, consulting, and laboratory research programs. A major emphasis of Dr.
Beavers’ research has been the mechanistic and practical aspects of corrosion and stress
corrosion cracking (SCC). He earned a Bachelor of Science in Metallurgical Engineering with
Highest Honors from the University of Illinois and received his Ph.D. in Metallurgical Engineering
from the University of Illinois.

Chuck Corr is the Biofuels Technical Service Manager for ADM, Inc. He has over 30 years of
experience in the ethanol production industry and has spent his entire career with ADM.

John Farrell is the Segment Engineer Technical Authority for Storage Tanks and Pipeline for
BP Corporation. He received a Bachelor of Science degree in Civil Engineering from the
University of Illinois, Champaign-Urbana, and a Master of Science degree in Civil Engineering
from the University of Illinois – Chicago.
Russell Kane, Ph.D., is President of iCorrosion LLC. Dr. Kane has over 300 technical
publications and five books on corrosion and metallurgical topics. He received his Bachelor’s
degree, Master’s degree and Ph.D. in metallurgy and materials science from Case Western
Reserve University.

Chip Locke is Senior Project Manager at Kinder Morgan. In his current position, he has the
lead role in the maintenance, development and implementation of all engineering and
construction standards, maintenance procedures, preventative maintenance checklists and
technical memorandums. Locke is responsible for advising on technical matters relating to
terminal operations and serves as a facilitator for standards and procedures training. He is a
registered Professional Engineer in Indiana and Ohio. He earned a Bachelor of Science in civil
engineering from Purdue University and an MBA from Butler University.
Strategies for Mitigating Ethanol and
Methanol Stress Corrosion Cracking

Dan Leslie, Marathon Petroleum Co.

John Beavers, DNV-GL
Russ Kane, iCorrosion
Chuck Corr, Archer Daniels Midland
John Farrell, BP
Chip Locke, Kinder Morgan
Topics at a Glance
Part 1 - Research and Production
– Alcohol SCC Research
– API Bulletins
– Production & Experience

Part II - Operator Experience and Mitigation Solutions

– SCC In Tanks
– SCC In Pipes
– eSCC Boot Camp
Dr. John A. Beavers, DNV GL


Major Technical Issues with Ethanol
• Leaking of storage tanks
and piping due to SCC
• Fuel quality
• Corrosion in dispensing
systems (if wet)
• Elastomer swelling
Experimental Methods
• Constant Deflection/Load Tests (e.g., U-bends)
– Takes a long time and high loading
– Lack of reproducibility
• Slow Strain Rate Tests (smooth or notched tensile
– Strain specimen to failure in environment
– Rapid and reproducible but does not represent field
• Fracture Mechanics Tests (pre-cracked
– Most realistic test technique
– Expensive and time consuming
Experimental Methods
• First Step – Reproduce the Cracking in the
• Second Step – Evaluate Controlling
• Step Three - Determine Realistic Crack
Growth Rates
• Step Four - Identify Mitigation Methods


Material Tensile
Susceptible Material
• No Evidence that Typical Line Pipe or
Plate Steels are Resistant to e-SCC
• Weld Microstructures Have Similar e-SCC
Susceptibility to Base Metal
– Weld metal may be somewhat more resistant
SSR Tests if Different Steels
Base Metal

4.0E-06 E-30
SCC CGR mm/s

















Effect of DSAW Welds

4.0E-06 E-30
SCC CGR mm/s




Base Metal HAZ HAZ Weld Metal Weld Metal
Tensile Stress
• Primary Role of Welding in e-SCC is to
Introduce Residual Tensile Stresses
– Most failures occur near welds – Not in weld
• Low pressure piping and tanks
• In High Pressure Transmission Pipelines
– Hoop stress from internal pressure may be
sufficient to cause e-SCC
Environment (Factorial Study)
• Oxygen and Steel Couple Are Most
Significant Factors
• Chloride, Methanol and Acetic Acid May
Be Important at Intermediate Oxygen
• Water and Blend Ratio
– Did Not Show up in Study
• Limited Range (Water)
• Not Investigated (Blend Ratio)
Environment (Factorial Study)
Effect of Blend Ratio and Oxygen
Effect of Blend Ratio and Oxygen
• Dissolved Oxygen is Most Important
• No SCC Below E-15
– E-15?? On the edge of a cliff
• E-85 Susceptible
• E-50 Appears to be the Worst!
Effect of Water

Hydrous Ethanol Will
Not Cause SCC
Mitigation of e-SCC

• Reduce Tensile Residual Stresses

– PWHT welds in piping
– Grit Blast Tank Internals
• Not proven for e-SCC but works for other forms of
• Internal Coatings for Tanks
– Only will be fully effective when used with grit
• Inhibitors and Oxygen Scavengers
– Transmission Pipelines
Methanol SCC
• Observed in Pipelines and Other
Components Where Neat Methanol Used
for Dewatering
• Similar Morphology and Controlling
Factors to e-SCC
– Oxygen necessary for m-SCC to occur
– Water inhibits cracking
• All Carbon Steels Susceptible to e-SCC
• Residual Tensile Stresses are Primary Source of
• Oxygen – Primary Promoter of e-SCC
• Water – Inhibitor
• e-SCC Mitigation
– Reduce Residual Tensile Stresses
– Coatings
– Inhibitors and Oxygen Scavengers
• Methanol Behaves Similar to Ethanol
Dr. Russell Kane, iCorrosion, LLC


What we know about Ethanol SCC
• Made to ASTM D4806 or similar
standards; but some variable ethanol
is out there.
• Ethanol processing methods, ethanol
source, aeration, water content
(maybe chlorides) can influence SCC
• In many cases, high stress intensity is
required to initiate ethanol SCC: Areas
of non-PWHT welds & stress
• Lab / field information both suggest
that severity of SCC is not constant
over time. Failures can occur in 6
months to 10 years.
API 939E – Ethanol SCC Guidelines
• This bulletin is based on
“lessons learned” from
API surveys and research,
supplemented by industry
experience. It is in a form
accessible and usable for
field personnel.

• The focus of API Bulletin

– Identification - Find
– Repair - Fix
– Mitigation – Eliminate
API 939E – Ethanol SCC Guidelines
• Older equipment may not
conform exactly to API 939E,
but this does not imply that
such equipment is being
operated in an unsafe or
unreliable manner.
• It is recognized that facilities
may vary and may need to be
modified depending on
– operating conditions,
– inspection and maintenance
• Each user company is
ultimately responsible for its
own safe and reliable
Ethanol SCC Guidelines (API 939E)
A total of 31 cases of eSCC have been reported in the API survey
efforts conducted from 2003 through 2013.

Failures from Experience Survey:

•Facilities piping/fittings – 24%
•Tank floor plates seam welds – 22%
•Tank floor/sidewall fillet welds – 9%
•Tank sidewall 1st course butt weld – 9%
•Tank floating roof seam welds – 9%
•Tank Roof Springs – 6%
•Facilities piping/supports – 6%
•Ancillary handling equipment – 6%
•Tank nozzle – 3%
•Shop built tank in E85 – 3%
•Pipeline – 3%
API Bulletin 939E – Major Topics
• Ethanol background, definitions & specifications
• Citing of SCC examples
– Listing of documented SCC failures
– Includes two documented cases of SCC in pipelines
• Summary of likely SCC locations and conditions
• Guidelines for new construction & fabrication
– Minimize the use of lap seam welds
– Minimize cold working and plastic deformation
– Use of PWHT – mainly piping welds
– Use of ethanol resistant immersion coatings for tanks
– Encourages tank foundations and pipe supports
API Bulletin 939E – Major Topics
• Inspection of existing equipment
– References to API 653, API 574, API 510 and API 570 as
relevant to specific equipment
– Inspection for SCC is complicated:
• Cracks are tight and can not be easily seen; leakage.
• Cases of SCC have been observed in less than 12 months
– Encourages prioritizing inspection based on severity of service,
location, prior cracking experience
– Option: Visual, WFMT, SW-UT, EM-ACFM, eddy current
– Encourages (where possible) Ethanol sampling & analysis;
destructive metal sampling & examination for SCC confirmation.
API 939E – Major Topics - 3
• Assessment & Repair of SCC Damaged Equipment
– Assessment of fitness-for-service and RBI - Methods of API 579
and API 581 are applicable.
– Temporary patches and permanent repairs
– Repairs by grinding, flame or arc gouging/cutting, welding
– PWHT of piping and use of ethanol resistance immersion
coatings for tanks.
• Monitoring (with limitations)
– Sampling of ethanol per ASTM
– SCC insitu testing.
• Sampling & SCC Testing
– NACE TM0111 – SSR testing
of sampled ethanol.
• Sampling and SCC data suggests that there are
variations in ethanol
• Source and manufacturing differences, and
contamination may occur.
• We know:
– Where SCC is most likely to occur
– SCC can occur in ethanol within ASTM D4806 range
• API Bulletin 939E provides guidelines for
identification, mitigation and prevention of
ethanol SCC.
• Experience since API 939E is good.
Charles Corr, Archer Daniels Midland Company


• Represent broader industry – FETAG

• Production of denatured fuel ethanol

• Industry experience
• Thoughts
Denatured Fuel Ethanol
• Story of glucose
– Photosynthesis
• Fermentation
• Distillation
• Denaturation

• ASTM D4806 Standard Specification for

Denatured Fuel Ethanol for Blending with
Gasolines for Use as Automotive Spark-
Ignition Engine Fuel
Distribution of Ethanol
• Ethanol Products are Distributed by
– Truck
– Rail
– Barge
– Vessel
– Pipeline
• Domestic and international
Producer Experience
• Many Ethanol Products
– Undenatured and Denatured
• Wide Range of Water Content
– Typically 5 percent to hundreds of ppm
• Nearly all Ethanol Stored in Carbon Steel
• Not aware of SCC in any product other
than DFE
– Limited to the Distribution System
Producer Experience
• Confirmed with Multiple Producers

• No Reports of SCC in Tanks or Piping at

Producer Facility or in Transport Container

• ADM tank evaluation

– Professional Examination for SCC
– Old tank with Fuel Oil Prior – No SCC Found
• SCC – Dependent on Conditions
– Material – Metal
– Stress Conditions
– Liquid Conditions
• Ethanol is Not the Cause of the SCC
– Ethanol is Not Corrosive
• Solvent with Specific Properties - Polarity,
Conductivity and Solubility
– Minor Contaminates
What Do We Need to Address SCC?
• What Changes in Distribution System?

• If SCC in Tanks and Pipes is a Ongoing

Problem –

• Fundamental Research
John Farrell, BP

Ethanol SCC in Floating Roofs
• Steel Pan IFT: a small ethanol puddle was found
on the deck near a fillet lap weld during a routine
seal inspection. The tank was removed from
service and two cracks were discovered in deck
seams by wet fluorescent magnetic particle testing
(WFMT). The cracked sections were analyzed and
ethanol SCC was confirmed.
• Steel Pan IFT: a tank was removed from ethanol
service for scheduled modifications including fillet
welding the underside of the floating roof deck
seams in preparation for installation of an ethanol
resistant coating. Dye penetrant testing (PT) of the
recently completed fillet welds identified 32
Ethanol SCC in Floating Roofs
• Steel pan IFT: pusher springs
that were part of a mechanical
shoe seal had
broken/snapped. This damage
was found in two tanks that
also experienced SCC in the
bottom weld lap seams.
Ethanol SCC in Bottoms
• Annular Ring: Annular butt weld seam
cracked. Additional WFMT revealed
additional cracks in or very near bottom
lap weld seams and in shell nozzle insert
plate welds.
• Bottom Plate Seams: Lap weld seams,
corner weld, and floating roof leg bearing
pad fillet weld seams were examined by
WFMT and cracks identified in 2 tanks
located at same terminal.
Ethanol SCC in Piping
• Terminal 1:
– Ethanol Piping at loading rack developed a
seep at/near pipe to elbow butt weld joint.
• Terminal 2:
– Minor seep/leak developed in carbon steel
piping in April. Seeps were located near pipe
support fillet weld. Piping was constructed &
placed in ethanol service in 1995.
– Upon detection of first leak, 3 more cracks
were found at similar support weld locations.
– Several months later, other leaks developed at
other support welds. Piping was replaced
utilizing different support design and PWHT of
completed piping installation.
Ethanol SCC in Shell
• Tank Shell Seams: During routine internal
examination of an ethanol tank, WFMT of the
uncoated shell vertical and horizontal weld
seams revealed cracks in all 1st course
vertical seams, most 2nd course vertical weld
seams, and about ½ of the 3rd course vertical
weld seams. Cracks were small (i.e. short,
tight) and were not visible without
• Tank Nozzle Insert Plate Welds: During an
internal inspection, WFMT examination of
insert plate weld seams identified one small
(i.e. short, tight) crack in insert plate to shell
Ethanol Tank & Piping Practices
Tank :
– Tank bottoms, shell and undersides of floating roofs
are coated with epoxy coatings that are resistance to
– Store in Internal floating roof tank (No EFTs)
• Welded steel floating roofs are preferred
• Bolted or welded aluminum floating roofs are
• Mechanical shoe primary seal w/ stainless steel
shoes, hangers, & hardware.
– All new piping components shall be subject to PWHT
– Welding of pipe supports to the parent pipe should
be avoided - the preference being to use clamp type
supports (e.g. U-bolts).
– Pipe stresses should be minimised e.g. do not use
maximum pipe support spacing, reduce spacing to
reduce stresses over supports
Tank Inspection Practice
Internal inspection of a tank that has been in ethanol
service, regardless of duration, includes Wet Fluorescent
Magnetic-Particle Testing (WFMT) of the following areas:
• Uncoated bottom lap welds.
• Internal corner weld (remove any existing coating,
regardless of condition, to perform this inspection).
• All uncoated internal shell welds beneath the first
horizontal shell weld, including vertical butt welds and
nozzle welds.
• Uncoated carbon steel floating roof welds exposed to
ethanol – if roof is not seal welded on the underside, the
top side lap welds shall be WFMT inspected, including
seams inside pontoons.
– Note: WFMT requires surfaces to be cleaned to a near-white
metal finish The area extending 6 inches into the base metal on
either side of the weld shall be prepared and WFMT inspected.
Daniel Leslie, Marathon Petroleum Company


SCC in ball valve assembly
• Assembly consisted of ball valve, reducing bushing, and nipple
• Operating pressure was less than 150 psig – line from tank to load
• Sample sent to DNV for testing
– Intergranular facets were evident on the fracture surface and secondary
intergranular cracks were present on the reducing bushing, which is
consistent with ethanol SCC
SCC in ball valve assembly
SCC in Elbow
• 4” line – Line was a dedicated prover line for ethanol
• Leak occurred at elbow fitting near an adjacent girth
weld connecting a flange
SCC in Elbow
• Intergranular cracks typical of eSCC
• Crack interlinks
Northern Terminal - 2010
• 6” pipe – ethanol line – less than 150 psi
• Leak occurred adjacent to a girth weld
Northern Terminal – 2010 Findings
• Traces of chlorine found on the fracture surface and intergranular
cracks typical of eSCC present
• Circumferential external cracks were present on the piping fitting
side of the piping section, in the base metal just outside the heat
affected zone of the girth weld
Single Terminal - Multiple Spots
• Records of 8 welds being sent for analysis – 7 showed eSCC
• Pipe installed in 2008
• 8” standard wall (0.322”) A53 ERW piping – MOP of 225 psig.
• Replaced piping to the rack – Approximately 500’
• Location of the cracking not consistent with eSCC
– Cracks found in root of the weld, typically eSCC is found in base
metal near girth weld
– Branched cracking and intergranular crack path consistent with
– Believed eSCC propagated from pre-existing hydrogen cracks
formed during construction
– Some internal misalignment during construction (high-low) may
have played a part where the cracks initiated
• The microstructure and chemical composition was typical for
A53 piping
• There was no evidence of fatigue striations at the crack tip
Rack o-lets, Multiple terminals
• Midwest Terminal #2 (under rack) – lateral-o-let – May 2013
• Coastal Terminal #1 (lane 2) – thread-o-let – June 2013
• Coastal Terminal #1 (lane 1) – thread-o-let – December 2013
• Gulf Coast Terminal #2 (lane 10) – thread-o-let – December
• Gulf Coast Terminal #2 (lane 2) – thread-o-let – June 2014

• All of the above were reported as weeps/seeps

• Repair included temporary repair utilizing Belzona™ and
within a year replacing the spool piece
• All repairs and construction for ethanol lines includes 100% x-
ray and PWHT
Rack o-lets - Pictures
Terminal #1 Terminal #2

Terminal #3
Construction Standards
• Applies to systems with ethanol concentration >= 15%
• Pipe Standards
– Piping must meet A106 Grade B
– All welds to be Post-weld heat treated (PWHT) during fabrication
– Valve assemblies to be uni-body
– Receipt Manifold and ethanol offload line must not be connected
• Tank Standards
– If shop fabricated (<14’ tall), entire tank to be PWHT
– Ethanol tank bottoms and walls to be coated to at least 3’ from the floor, and
must be coated at least 6” above nozzles and or manway (whichever is greater)
• Required coating: FastClad 105 ER or Carboline Phenoline 187 UHS
– Shell welds to be coated above 3’ line
– High-deck Floating Roofs in ethanol service to be replaced
Lewis “Chip” Locke, Kinder Morgan, LLC


What is stress corrosion cracking?

• SCC occurs when material

under high tensile strength is
subject to a corrosive Susceptible Corrosive 
environment. SCC usually Material Environment
occurs in certain specific (carbon Steel) (ethanol)
metal-environment-stress SCC
• Tanks inherently have two of
the factors - carbon steel and
tensile stress
• Tanks in ethanol or methanol Tensile Stress
service introduce the third (welding)
factor – dissolved oxygen
Tank Critical Zone – per API 653, the annular plate ring and 12” in on the
floor and up on the shell.

eSCC – Stress Corrosion Cracking caused by ethanol exposure

FGE – Fuel Grade Ethanol

E85 – Vehicle fuel that is up to 85% ethanol and 15% gasoline

PWHT – Post Weld Heat Treating

OAP – Optically Activated Pigment for coatings

Stress Corrosion Cracking Data
• The impact of SCC on a material usually falls between dry cracking and the
fatigue threshold of that material.
• The required tensile stresses may be in the form of directly applied stresses
or in the form of residual stresses.
• The problem itself can be quite complex. The situation with buried pipelines is
a good example of such complexity.
• Cold deformation and forming, welding, heat treatment, machining and
grinding can introduce residual stresses. The magnitude and importance of
such stresses is often underestimated.
• The residual stresses set up as a result of welding operations tend to
approach the yield strength.
• The build-up of corrosion products in confined spaces can also generate
significant stresses and should not be overlooked.
Stress Corrosion Cracking Structure
• Usually, most of the surface remains intact, but with fine cracks penetrating
into the material.
• In the microstructure, these cracks can have an intergranular or a trans
granular morphology.
• Macroscopically, SCC fractures have a brittle appearance.
• SCC is classified as a catastrophic form of corrosion, as the detection of
such fine cracks can be very difficult and the damage not easily predicted.

A disastrous failure may occur unexpectedly, with minimal overall material loss.
Schematic of Stress Corrosion Cracking

Fe3O3  Fe3O4 Fe3O3  Fe3O4

(Corrosion Products) (Corrosion Products)

Corrosion Build Up
Tensile Force Tensile Force

Advancing Crack Tip
Common SCC Systems Table
Material Environment Concentration Temp Mode
Hydroxides high high I
Nitrates moderate moderate I
Carbonate/bicarbonate Low moderate I
Carbon steel
Liquid ammonia Low T
CO/CO2/H2O low T
Aerated water very high T
Low Alloy Steel (e.g. Cr‐Mo, Cr‐Mo‐V) Water ‐ moderate T
Water ( y>170 ksi) low M
Strong Steels Chloride ( y>120 ksi) low M
Sulfide ( y>90 ksi) low M
Chloride high high T
Austenitic Stainless Steel (including sensitized)
Hydroxide high very high M
Aerated water very high I
Sensitized Austenitic Stainless Steel
Thiosulphate or polythionate low low I
Chloride high very high T
Duplex Stainless Steels
Chloride + H2S high High moderate T
Martensitic Stainless Steels Chloride (usually + high H 2S) moderate low T
High Strength Steels Water vapor ‐ low T
Aluminium Alloys Chlorides low low I
Chlorides high Low T
Titanium Alloys Methanol ‐ Low T
N 2O 4 high high low T
Copper Alloys (excluding Cu‐Ni) Ammoniac and other nitrogenous low low I
Notes to SCC Table
1. This Table presents the systems for which SCC problems are well established and of practical
importance. The absence of a metal-environment combination from this Table does not mean that
SCC has not been observed.
2. There are rarely well-defined temperature or concentration limits for SCC, and the ratings given here
are indicative only. As an approximate guide the terms used equate to the following ranges of values:

Concentration Temperature
Low Up to 10‐2M Ambient
Moderate Up to 1 M Below 100 °C
High Around 1 M Around boiling
Very high Near saturation Above boiling
Note that significantly increased local concentrations may be obtained under the influence of local
boiling or evaporation, or by accumulation in pits and crevices, and cracking is often obtained for
nominal concentrations that are much lower than is indicated here.
3. The fracture mode is classified as intergranular (I) where cracks go along the grain boundaries,
trans granular (T) where cracks go across the grains, or mixed (M) where there is a combination of
the two modes, or where the mode can vary depending on the conditions. There are often
circumstances that can cause the fracture mode to change (e.g. chloride SCC of sensitized
austenitic stainless steel may give intergranular cracking).
4. Very high temperature (> 200 °C) water environments are very aggressive, and will cause SCC of
a wide range of materials. Expert advice is essential for materials selection for such conditions.
eSCC Industry Observations
• No eSCC was observed at tanks or piping at ethanol producers.
• eSCC does not appear to affect first tier transportation (barges, etc.)
• eSCC appears in the first storage point (terminals and blending facilities)
• There have been no reports of eSCC after blending even in E85.
• eSCC occurs primarily in piping/fittings and tank floors. The shell and critical
zone were less common but still had occurrences.
• eSCC also occurs in steel pan floating roofs and pontoons.
• eSCC has occurred in a little as 6 months to as long as 10 years.
• Both oxygen and chlorides seem to accelerate eSCC.
• Experimental SCC data is notorious for a wide range of scatter.
High Tensile Stress in Tanks
Tanks have several potential areas of stress at or near the bottom
– The critical zone with 1’ of the floor to shell weld
– Openings and nozzles such as manways Fillet Weld

– Filet welds at lap weld plates Greatest Stress

– Product weight on the floor and first course

– Small patches Overlapping plates

API 650 and 653 shows details for openings, nozzles and patches that reduce
stresses in these areas. Rounded corners on repads, for example 1/8 inch
Construction Materials Affected by SCC

• Carbon Steel is the primary material affected

• Grade/strength of carbon steel apparently not a
factor, but carbon equivalency may be.
• Aluminum does not appear to suffer SCC but will pit in
ethanol service: An upgrade to marine grade
aluminum could be justified.
• Stainless Steel does not suffer SCC from ethanol but
will from chlorides
Industry Best Management Practices to
Mitigate SCC
API has issued two documents concerning SCC
• API RP 939 D – a white paper explaining SCC
• API RP 939 E – best management practice guidance

API 939 E recommends

• Post Weld Heat Treating (more practical on pipes and fittings than
• Minimize lap joints in floor construction
• Minimize cold working of metal (bending, forcing into place, etc.)
• Use polymeric coating compatible with ethanol immersion
• Consider periodic testing for chlorides and oxygen

While ethanol is the primary cause of SCC because it is so

common, methanol and anhydrous ammonia can also cause SCC.
Company BMP
Mitigating Stress Corrosion Cracking
Engineering Standard, Mitigating Ethanol Induced Stress Corrosion Cracking of
Carbon Steel During New Construction and Repairs - Revised: 06-16-2015
In reference to tanks,
• The tank shall be internally coated (lined) on the floor and above the first shell
course weld.
• Coating the underside of the floating roof including the external rim and rim
angle if it has any carbon steel components.
• Each new tank put in ethanol service shall have a stress coupon test station
installed and monitored according to Pipeline Integrity Protocol.
Company BMP
Mitigating Stress Corrosion Cracking

• In lieu of PWHT, abrasive blast the tank to peen the surface with clean, new
peen-shot-media. This relieves the surface tension on the steel.
• In addition or as an alternative, use new blast media (garnet or other mineral
grit) to create a profile of 2 to 2.5 mils SSPC-10 Near White Blast.
• Coat the tank with the appropriate coating for the product
¾ Many coatings resist ethanol - most epoxies, including coal tar epoxy.
¾ Methanol requires a high solids, epoxy novolac phenolic or a vinyl ester
• The lining material should be made with OAP pigment to facilitate blacklight
• The final step is to wet sponge holiday testing for coating milage of 20 mils
or less. High voltage is utilized on coating thicknesses above 20 mils
Company BMP

Internal Tank Coating

• Several internal company groups spent time updating the Protective
Coatings Standard
• This standard now includes an Appendix that defines approved Coating
systems. It includes 3 systems for internal tank lining
• First one has the tank is blasted to SSPC 10 and coated with an
epoxy novolac primer with OAP (optically active pigment) then an
epoxy novolac up to 24 mils thick.
• Second is a Glass Reinforced Polymer using fiberglass mats to
reinforce what ever resin is required for the product.
• Third is a Glass Flake System that uses the same epoxy novolac
primer with OAP (optically active pigment) and then a high solids
epoxy novolac amine, glass flake filled coating.
Company BMP

Internal Tank Coating

• The lining systems in the previous slide are the proposed pre-approved
liners for both new construction and repair.
• These are considered thick-film liners (over 24 mils). The glass-reinforced
and glass flake systems are generally used for repairing tanks that have
minimal floor thickness or multiple leaks. The liner will extend the API
internal inspection interval for these tanks to 20 years
• The First system will work for almost all products but many other coating
systems are acceptable if they withstand the product in the tank.
• Other systems should be submitted to the Project Manager for approval

New tank construction often uses a thin-film liner (6 to 8 mills) of coating

The theory is when the lining fails there is still the original floor thickness
This will still allow the 20 year inspection interval
Company BMP

Internal Tank Coating

Liners serve other functions than just carbon steel protection
• Lined tanks are easier and quicker to clean than carbon steel tanks
• Lined tanks extend API internal inspection intervals
• Lined tanks make switching products much easier and quicker
• Tanks in white product service (alcohols, methanols, etc.) have much
less chance of rust bleed in lined tanks.
• Many chemical tanks need to be fully lined including the bottom of the
roof to prevent product contamination.

Fully lining chemical tanks is economically viable because the tanks are usually
small (10k to 30k bbls) and the chemical is valuable, with contaminated product
creating a substantial cost to KM in terms of money and customer relations.
• Stress Corrosion Cracking is a infrequent but significant issue
• Chloride Testing should be performed using approved methods.
• Number of tests are determined on square footages
• SCC occurs when material, tensile stress and environment overlap
• eSCC is most common but methanol and other chemicals can cause SCC
• SCC can be mitigated by PWHT, Shot-peening and internal tank coatings
• Internal coatings (liners) must be carefully selected to resist the product
• Liner Quality Control using OAP and holiday testing is a must
• Liners serve other functions than just carbon steel protection

Thank you