Saturday, 15 May 2010

6 Mo Valves and their properties

6 Moly valves are rare.; the material is also known as A182 F44 valves, 254 SMO valves, 904L valves or Avesta valves. The following article "describes the general metallurgical characteristics, corrosion resistance, mechanical properties, economics and the specific investigations conducted on the various components relating to the Soga Snorre seawater piping system, where over 1OOO tons of alloy 1925hMo were supplied in various product forms". It is entitled: "6% MOLYBDENUM SUPER AUSTENITIC STAINLESS STEELS IN OFFSHORE APPLICATIONS", and reproduced from the original site

With greater emphasis on offshore exploration to find new sources of energy,
the need to find cost effective materials of construction for handling seawater
and hydrocarbonbrine mixtures with and without hydrogen sulfide has become
very critical. This paper describes the metallurgical characteristics, corrosion
resistance and applications of a new class of 6 moly nitrogen strengthened
stainless steels, known as CroniferR alloy 1925hM0, (UNS # N08926).

Materials used in the offshore industry encounter numerous corrosion
and mechanical problems. They consist of submerged and atmospheric marine
corrosion, mechanical and mechanical wave action and marine fouling.
Unfortunately, many other factors other than the mere considerations of
corrosion resistance in so-called "normal seawater" have to be taken into
consideration when making material selection. This applies in particular for
piping systems.

A seawater piping system consists not only of pipe (seamless and
welded) but other accessories such as pipe spools, pipe bends, reducers,
flanges, return bends, tees, elbows, pumps, valves and metering devices. The
important properties governing proper material selection are:

o resistance to various forms of corrosion, especially localized corrosion
and stress corrosion cracking.
o physical and mechanical properties (coefficient of thermal expansion,
thermal conductivity, tensile properties, erosion resistance, low temp.
o galvanic compatibility
o good fabricability and weldability
o resistance to marine growth
o availability of various product forms
o successful case histories
o costs

Even though the precise determination of all corrosion variables as
relating to site specific marine corrosion is not fully categorized, there is ample
laboratory, field and case history experience available to make cost effective and
functionally reliable maintenance-free selection. Table 1 lists the various classes
of materials, usually specified and used in seawater service. Table 2 lists the
nominal chemistry of some of the alloys used iuncluding the 6 Mo stainless
steels. Carbon steel, along with most of the materials listed in Table 1 & Table
2, have been successfully used in marine applications although in certain very
specific conditions the performance of some has not been totally satisfactory.

The standard austenitic grades of stainless steet, although acceptable
from uniform corrosion and erosion considerations, are not suitable due to their
poor localized corrosion resistance and susceptibility to chloride stress corrosion
cracking. It has been shown (Loren?, & Medawar, 1969) that the pitting index
(P.I.) or Pitting Resistance Equivalent (P.R.E.) as measured by %Cr + 3.3%
Mo %Cr + 3.3% Mo + 16 ... 30 N, if nitrogen is piesent, must be greater
than 38 as a rule of thumb for having adequate localized corrosion resistance
to marine corrosion. A research & development effort at VDM resulted in two
new alloys of the 6 Moly family. These are

1) Cronifer'"* 1925hMo - alloy 926 - UNS# NO8926
2) NicroferiR' 3127hMo - alloy 31 - UNS# NO8031

Within the 6 Mo stainless steels there are 2 alloys containing different
levels of nickel and one alloy containing higher levels of both chromium and
nickel. The 25% Nickel version of the 6 Mo SS has shown some advantages
over the 18% nickel version of 6 Mo SS. Some of these advantages are: . improved stability of austenite . improved resistance to stress corrosion cracking . improved passivation characteristics . slower formation of precipitates, even in the temperature range of 700 - 1000°C (1290 - 1830°F) . slower sensitization kinetics.

The increased Mo of alloy 926 (UNS# N08926) and alloy 31 (UNS#
N08031) had to be metallurgically balanced by addition of nitrogen. Nitrogen,
being an austenite stabilizer, made these new alloys thermally stable by slowing
down the kinetics of precipitation of detrimental phases such as carbides, Chi,
and others during hot working and welding operations.

Other benefits of this nitrogen addition include increased resistance to
localized corrosion, enhanced mechanical properties, increased resistance to
SCC and a much lower cost substitute for nickel.

As mentioned earlier and documented in open literature, the main
problem with standard austenitic stainless steels has been their poor resistance
to pitting and crevice corrosion in chloride bearing media. To provide greater
resistance, judicious increase in molybdenum, chromium & nitrogen contents
of the "Fe-Ni-Cr-Mo" alloys was necessary. This had to be accomplished
without increasing the cost significantly, as is with nickel base alloys of Ni-
Cr-Mo familty such as alloy 625, alloy C-276 & alloy 59 and without
sacrificing thermal stability. Table 3 compares for various alloys including the
6 Moly SS, Pitting Resistance Equivalent, the critical pitting & crevice
corrosion temperature as measured in 10% Ferric-chloride solution (ASTM G-
48 test) and a cost ratio comparison to alloy 316L.

Saturday, 8 May 2010

Super duplex valve categorization

Super duplex valves can be categorized as follows:

* Super Duplex 2507,
* Super Duplex SAF 2507,
* Super Duplex UNS S32750
Duplex 2205, Duplex UNS S31803 Duplex SAF2205, Duplex SAF 2205 Super Duplex 2507, Super Duplex UNS S32750, Super Duplex SAF2507, Super Duplex SAF 2507

A category of stainless steel with high amounts of chromium and moderate nickel content. The duplex class is so named because it is a mixture of austenitic (chromium-nickel stainless class) and ferritic (plain chromium stainless category) structures. This combination was originated to offer more strength than either of those stainless steels. Duplex stainless steels provide high resistance to stress corrosion cracking (formation of cracks caused by a combination of corrosion and stress) and are suitable for heat exchangers, desalination plants, and marine applications

* Super Duplex 2507,
* Super Duplex SAF 2507,
* Super Duplex UNS S32750

Thursday, 6 May 2010

Duplex valves and alloys for Offshore Applications – Duplex and Super Duplex Stainless Steels, Cupronickels and Corrosion Mechanisms

This is a great summary on Duplex Stainless steel which can be used in duplex valves and super duplex valves, for example, in corrosive applications.

Primary author By K.C. Bendall


Materials selections must be given detailed attention at every stage of the design, construction and operation of systems and equipment for application in offshore oil and gas production. Full attention must be given to general corrosion resistance, selective corrosion resistance (by pitting and crevice attack) and stress corrosion cracking susceptibility in sour hydrogen sulphide environments if failures, loss of production and costly maintenance are to be avoided. Even more important than these considerations is the need to maintain offshore safety. Thus the specification and use of materials which combine corrosion resistance with high mechanical strength is a fundamental requirement.

A greater understanding of the offshore environment and more detailed knowledge of the conditions under which offshore structures and systems have to operate will obviously contribute to the selection of the correct materials.

Corrosion in Sea Water and Offshore Environments

Sea water is highly corrosive and offshore installations are often exposed to temperature extremes. The corrosion resistance of a material is therefore equally as important as mechanical strength. The introduction of chlorine by adding hypochlorite solution to sea water to give biofouling resistance can reduce the corrosion resistance of certain stainless steels, particularly under crevice conditions. Hydrocarbon process systems often have to withstand the potentially corrosive effects of hydrogen sulphide and acid conditions associated with the dissolved carbon dioxide which is often present. Corrosion can weaken elements of an otherwise well designed ,structure or affect individual equipment components to such an extent that they cease to be serviceable. Unfortunately, the fight against corrosion itself can lead to equally damaging side effects such as the release of nascent hydrogen. This can be generated as a result of cathodic protection measures adopted to protect a structure or by dissimilar metal coupling. The presence of such hydrogen can given rise to hydrogen-induced cracking of steels and nickel base alloys.

Alloys for Offshore Applications

Metals manufacturers have spent much time and effort in developing alloys specifically to meet offshore needs. The alloys developed have had to be suitable for shafts and bolting as wellas many other applications. These have included sea water and process pipework, water injection and booster pumps, line shaft pumps, emergency shutdown valves, anchorages and tensioners for riser protection systems, multiphase pumps and remotely operated vehicle components.

The Development of Marinel

One particularly significant corrosion-resistant alloy (CRA) development led to the introduction of an ultra high strength cupronickel alloy (Marinel), approximately five years ago. This alloy was added to the range of alloys available for selection with reference to particular equipment where corrosion and hydrogen embrittlement could occur offshore. Most high strength iron and nickel based alloys and titanium alloys are prone to hydrogen embrittlement, the effect usually becoming more severe as the strength increases. Thus these alloys when operating in a high-stress condition will be more susceptible to hydrogen embrittlement than the same alloys operating under lower stress. Hydrogen embrittlement is of particular concern where high strength (usually B7 carbon steel, 720 yield point) bolting is used on subsea structures. The operating stress level usually taken to represent a critical situation with respect to hydrogen embrittlement is that given by the yield stress of B7 carbon steel which has the value of 720

Use of Cathodic Protection

Cathodic protection by sacrificial anodes or impressed current is extensively used to protect subsea structures from corrosion. This technique can generate hydrogen which, if absorbed, may lead to embrittlement of metallic components with the resultant danger of premature failure. The time-dependent nature of the ingress of hydrogen may mean that an apparently unaffected subsea critical component, for example a bolt, fails in an instant after it has performed satisfactorily for several years in service. Failure occurs when the residual ductile core is reduced in area by an encroaching hydrogen embrittlement front to a cross-section which cannot carry the load placed upon it. As an example, the failure of alloy K-500 riser clamp bolts has been reported in the April 1985 issue of Materials Performance (p37). Charging of UNS N 05500 (high strength 70Ni-3OCu alloy) with hydrogen has been shown to result in the hydrogen embrittlement of nonmagnetic drill collars. This has been thought to be due to galvanic coupling of the collars with carbon steel (see the October 1986 issue of Materials Performance, p28). It has also been suggested that a documented example of cracking in high strength steel legs of jack-up rigs was associated with hydrogen-induced stress corrosion cracking, the hydrogen being generated by the cathodic protection system operating in hydrogen sulphide contaminated seawater (February 1989 issue of Veritec Offshore Technology Journal).

Transport of Hydrogen into a Metal

The entry of hydrogen into a metal can be purely diffusion-controlled, or can be assisted by dislocation transport and the latter effect has been experimentally demonstrated by the measurement of hydrogen permeation rates through nickel whilst it is undergoing plastic deformation (see volume 13, 1979 of Scripta Metallurgica, pp 927-932). Dislocation sweep-in of hydrogen from the surface in the case of several different metals has been found to be consistent with the calculated energy of activation of hydrogen-induced cracking (see pp 233-239 of the proceedings of the 1976 TMSAIME international conference on the effects of hydrogen on the behaviour of metals). During hydrogen transport, the hydrogen can be deposited at various ‘trap-sites’ or internal discontinuities such as grain boundaries or precipitates.

Susceptibility to Hydrogen Embrittlement

These can take the form of ‘reversible’ traps which the hydrogen can subsequently leave, or ‘irreversible’ traps, which the hydrogen cannot leave and which tend to encourage local fracture through a lowering of the surface energy of the material. The effectiveness of the traps in promoting hydrogen embrittlement is related to the degree of strengthening present in the material matrix, as it is well established that materials in a higher strength state (i.e. cold worked or age hardened) are more susceptible to hydrogen embrittlement than the same materials in a lower strength condition. Thus, measurement of both the hydrogen entry kinetics of a metal (or alloy) and the ability of the metal to trap hydrogen would give an indication of its hydrogen embrittlement susceptibility. Overall solubility of hydrogen does have an influence on hydrogen embrittlement characteristics, as iron, nickel and titanium have relatively high hydrogen solubilities (>1cc/cc) and these materials are more susceptible to hydrogen embrittlement than aluminium and copper alloys, whose solubilities are generally less than 0.1 cc/cc. The hydrogen diffusion coefficients of steel and titanium are greater than 10-6 cm2.s-1, whereas the hydrogen diffusion coefficients of nickel, aluminium and copper alloys are approximately 10-10 cm2.s-1, although this does not take into account dislocation transport or grain boundary diffusion.

Nickel-Copper Alloys and Hydrogen Embrittlement

Two alloys which are interesting to compare are the age hardening nickel-copper alloy K-500 and age hardening cupronickel Marinel, which have similar mechanical properties and hydrogen diffusion characteristics. In comparing the chemical composition of these two alloys, see Table 1, it is apparent that they contain almost the same basic elements, the major difference between them being the Cu:Ni ratio. In the case of Marinel the high Cu:Ni ratio renders the alloy immune to hydrogen embrittlement and this has been found to be largely due to the reduced ability of this alloy to trap the hydrogen irreversibly.

Table 1. Typical composition of bolting.


Marinel in Offshore Applications

In offshore situations many developments have widely employed Marinel bolting for splash zone and subsea. Bolting subsea has been used with 13Cr steel, 22Cr duplex and 25Cr duplex steel manifold, valve and choke flanges. Subsea developments using the alloy include Lyell, Strathspey, Nelson, Heidrun, Johnston and Nelson.

Good galling resistance obviates the need for a lubricant during assembly and nuts can be readily removed after a period of service if required.

For the Conoco Lyell subsea manifold Marinel bolting was chosen for its greater mechanical strength and corrosion resistance compared with grade 660 steel. The bolts were bolt tensioned and assembled without lubricant. Stud bolts have been subjected to a laboratory examination after 18 months service (nearly 12 months with the manifold in operation) and apart from the expected calcareous deposit, appeared completely unaffected by service.

Duplex Stainless Steels in Offshore Applications

A most significant contribution to the fight against corrosion offshore has been made by duplex stainless steels. These have often been adopted on offshore structures in preference to carbon steel or other stainless steels. The value of the duplex stainless steel is that it combines the basic toughness of the more common austenitic stainless steels with the higher strength and improved corrosion resistance of ferritic steels. The optimum chemical composition of these steels provides a high level of corrosion resistance in chloride media together with high mechanical strength and ductility. Other benefits include the ability of some duplex stainless steels to be used at quite low sub-zero temperatures and be able to resist stress corrosion cracking.

A significant feature of duplex stainless steel is that its pitting and crevice corrosion resistance is greatly superior to that of standard austenitic alloys. Pitting resistance equivalent numbers (PREN), a standard industry measure, are often in the high 30s while the latest duplex alloys exceed a PREN of 40. This is an increasingly common specification for certain offshore duties. However, PREN numbers only provide an approximate grading of alloys and do not account for the microstructure of the material. An acceptance corrosion test on material in the supply condition is so much more meaningful.

The Evolution of Duplex Stainless Steels

Ferralium alloy 255 was the world’s first commercial 25% chromium duplex stainless steel when it was introduced over 20 years ago. It pioneered the use of a deliberate nitrogen addition in order to improve ductility and corrosion resistance. Further research has demonstrated the importance of using duplex stainless steels containing both nitrogen and copper.

Super Duplex Stainless Steels for Offshore Applications

For offshore and indeed, onshore applications, the availability of a super duplex (25% chromium) stainless steel alloy in a variety of forms is important. For example, bar, forgings, castings, sheet, plate, pipe/tube, welding consumables, flanges, fittings, dished ends and fasteners are available. In terms of other benefits, the high allowable design stress of this alloy type in comparison with other duplex stainless steels and austenitic stainless steels, including 6% Mo type, is significant. It also offers excellent castability, weldability and machinability. These features are complemented by excellent fatigue resistance and galvanic compatibility with other high alloy stainless steels.

Twenty-two percent chromium stainless steels provide better pitting resistance and resistance to crevice corrosion than type 316 stainless steel by virtue of a more stable passive film and also have greater mechanical strength. However, for optimum corrosion resistance, a 25% chromium high alloy duplex stainless steel is required and these alloys are often referred to as super duplex stainless. Even within this category, it is important to select the correct grade of material to get versatility in handling a wide range of corrosive media and for confidence that the alloy will cope with any excursions or transient operating conditions which make the environment more aggressive.

Materials Selection for Offshore Applications

Offshore structures themselves present different requirements of materials depending upon whether their application is topside, splash zone or subsea. Topside, duplex materials are suitable for a wide range of bolting applications and material such as Ferralium alloy 255 provide up to B7 steel strength, excellent corrosion resistance and a service life equal to the life of the system, thereby contributing to reduced maintenance costs. In the splash zone, the alloy has already demonstrated its suitability for sea water resistance with over 15 years service on North Sea installations and has been widely employed for riser bolting and components on riser protection system on TLPs.

Emergence of New Super Duplex Stainless Steels

Improved materials in the super duplex stainless steel category continue to be developed by manufacturers offering better or differently combined characteristics, features and benefits. These alloys, generally with a PREN > 40, are produced to conform to a number of UNS designations which appear in ASTM product form specifications. Castings and wrought forms are available. Typical of recent developments is Ferralium alloy SD40 (conforming to UNS S 32550) with a PREN > 40.0 and providing a minimum 0.2% proof stress of and a UTS of 760 This 25% chromium super duplex material results from a carefully controlled composition and balanced austenitic/ferritic structure with a substantial content of molybdenum and nitrogen.

Applications for Super Duplex Stainless Steels

Applications which can benefit from the use of these high alloy super duplex steels involve piping systems, pumps (where the good erosion and abrasion resistance is employed), valves, heat exchangers and diverse other equipment.

Recently, the excellent corrosion resistance of the new super duplex Ferralium alloy SD40 has been exploited for subsea electrical connectors on the Saga Snorre and Total South Ellon developments. In one case the super duplex material was chosen to replace standard austenitic stainless steel which had suffered from corrosion attack.

Figure 1. Super duplex stainless steel alloy is available in a variety of forms for both on and offshore applications.


Several types of alloys have been developed in recent years to combat the degradation of existing alloys by corrosion attack and in some cases hydrogen embrittlement in the harsh offshore environment. Super (25 Cr) duplex stainless steels and an ultra high strength cupronickel have provided the solution to many material selection dilemmas.

Wednesday, 5 May 2010

Duplex valves: mechanical and chemical properties

Duplex is an austenitic ferritic Iron Chromium-Nickel alloy with Molybdenim addition. It has good resitance to pitting, a high tensile strength and higher resistance to stress corrosion cracking at moderate temperatures to that of conventional austenitic stainless steels.  Valves made of duplex are highly suitable for marine and other saline environments.

Duplex valve for corrosive, seawater application

Duplex is a material having an approximate equal amount of austenite and ferrite. These combine excellent corrosion resistance with high strength. Mechanical properties are approximately double those of singular austenitic steel and resistance to stress corrosion cracking is superior to type 316 stainless steel in chloride solutions. Duplex material has a ductile / brittle transition at approximately -50°C. High temperature use is usually restricted to a maximum temperature of 300°C for indefinite use due to embrittlement.