Materials Selection – Operating Temperature and Pressure
Operating temperature and pressure limit the choice of materials and can have a significant influence on corrosion rates. Temperature can limit materials by adversely affecting strength, metallurgy, and resistance to corrosion.
For example, carbon steel is limited to a maximum design operating temperature of 800°F. Above 800°F, the strength of carbon steel decreases significantly and the steel may embrittle because of graphitization.
Corrosion rates frequently increase with temperature. In sour hydrocarbon services, for example, bare carbon steel is limited to about 550°F because corrosion accelerates at higher temperatures.
Operating pressure can also influence the stability of a material in the service environment. Hydrogen attack of steels in high pressure hydrogen at elevated temperatures is an example.
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