Fasteners in the Petrochemical Industry
Petrochemicals are in great demand from prominent industries that drive the market, like construction, transportation, and even packaging. Petrochemical products are derived from crude oil and natural gas. They are mainly used in the production of petrochemical derivatives like methanol, ethylene, polyvinyl chloride, acetic acid, and epoxy resins, to name a few.
Looking at the complexities involved in the functions of the petrochemical industry, it becomes impertinent to ensure that all the mechanics are sturdy and functioning. One of the most important and least expensive components that come into play is fasteners.
Industrial Fasteners - How critical is it to choose the right type?
The demand for industrial fasteners is expected to grow at 6.3% CAGR; the "Industrial Fasteners Market" size is expected to grow from USD 63,190 million in 2020 to USD 97370 Million by 2026. Furthermore, the petrochemical industry is incredibly diverse and encompasses a large chunk of the regional markets in North America, Latin America, Europe, China, Asia Pacific, Africa, and the Middle East.
In the petrochemical industry, petrochemical fasteners are mechanical joints that connect two or more different pipes for the flow of products. Other than that, these petrochemical fasteners are also utilized for internal and external operations. In some cases, petrochemical fasteners are welded outside as a permanent joint for pipelines underground.
A petrochemical site is exposed to extreme and difficult working conditions and high temperatures, due to which the probability of failure in different parts of a fired heater is high. Keeping that in mind, fasteners undoubtedly require more attention in the petrochemical industry because their failure could lead to heavy expenses, performance affecting the entire installation, and severe external damage. Hence, choosing suitable fasteners for the petrochemical industry is crucial to carrying out operations smoothly.
Types of fasteners for the Petrochemical Industry
Fasteners for petrochemical parts are made from special alloys that can withstand challenging corrosion, heat, and stress conditions. As luck would have it, several alloys are available in the market that has proven themselves worthy in these critical applications.
Most fastener alloys in demand today are those with a high precipitation hardening level. These alloys are similar and can often be used interchangeably depending upon their accessibility of size, temperament, and shapes as required.
Here is a list and description of the materials used in the petrochemical industry.
Fastener Materials for Petrochemical industries
1. PH Stainless Steel
A-286 IRON BASE ALLOY
This is the most comprehensive used fastener grade steel. The alloy is resistant to corrosion and is found in applications requiring high strength and corrosion resistance up to 1300°F. Furthermore, it is also used for lower stress applications at higher temperatures. It also performs well in shallow temperatures where a ductile, non-magnetic high, strength material must withstand temperatures down to -320°F.
A-286 alloy is obtained from a combination of nickel, chromium, and molybdenum, the content which is similar to many of the austenitic stainless steels. Hence, this contributes to good aqueous corrosion resistance.
17-7 PH alloy is another precipitation-hardening stainless steel that can deliver excellent fatigue properties, high strength and hardness, good corrosion resistance, and minimum distortion from heat treatment. The 17-7PH alloy has an exceptionally high strength that offers many advantages as far as limited ductility and workability are permissible. The 17-7 PH alloy has excellent mechanical properties in age-hardened conditions, especially at temperatures up to 900°F. Furthermore, its corrosion resistance is superior to that of most hardenable chromium alloys, approximating that of the austenitic chromium-nickel stainless steels in the same environments. Fabrication practices for 17-7PH stainless steel are similar to those used for other chromium-nickel stainless steel.
2. PH Special Metals
The Inconel 718 is a nickel-chromium alloy that displays high strength and excellent corrosion resistance of up to 1300°F with slightly diminished properties as temperatures rise. Inconel 718 has its advantages in its weldability, especially its resistance to post-weld cracking, as compared to other PH alloys.
The strength of the Inconel 718 can be maximized by work hardening. The alloy may be used in the cold worked and aged conditions as well. However, the aging response is considered minimal when compared to typical age-hardening alloys reviewed earlier. If the alloy is annealed to a 1900°F - 1950°F and then followed by aging, it can achieve the best transverse ductility in heavy sections, impact strength, and low-temperature notch tensile strength. For this condition, aging is at 1400°F/10 hours, lowering to 1200°F and holding at that temperature for a total aging time of 20 hours. Inconel 718 is available in strip, sheet, wire, and bar.
Waspaloy is a precipitation hardening, a nickel-based alloy that successfully resists intergranular oxidation from combustion products in gas turbines and aircraft jet engines at temperatures up to 1600°F. This alloy is available in strips, wire, sheets, and bars. This alloy obtains the best creep properties and stress rupture via specific high-temperature solution anneals.
This cobalt, nickel, chromium alloy has excellent resistance to hot corrosive atmospheres typical of jet engine operation, qualifying L-605 for the most critical types of fasteners.
It resists oxidation for intermittent service up to 1600°F, continuous service up to 2000°F, and shows particularly good qualities under extreme oxidizing conditions. Doing this also helps in successfully resisting any chemical oxidizing agents, hydrochloric and nitric acids at certain concentrations and temperatures, and salt spray corrosion.
This non-magnetic alloy also possesses high strength properties at elevated temperatures and remains non-magnetic in work-hardened conditions. Depending on the section size and application, the L-605 alloy can be supplied in the easier-to-form solution-annealed or cold worked condition. Strength can be maximized by work hardening, and the alloy may be used in the cold worked and aged conditions in certain instances. However, the aging response is considered minimal when compared to typical age-hardening alloys.
Another popular material for high-performance fasteners is the titanium bar, particularly Grade 6AL-4V. The most widely used titanium alloys, 6AL-4V, have a minimum room-temperature tensile strength of 130,000 psi, yield at 120,000 psi, and retain 70% of its yield strength at 750°F.
It fully heats treatable in section sizes up to one inch. By carrying out this procedure, the alloy’s hardness and strength are increased by about 20%. After aging, the typical yield strength of a one-inch bar is 150,000 psi, and the hardness is 360 Bhn.
Fasteners that are used in the petrochemical industry should be able to survive the most intimidating of environments. Tools used for drilling and transportation of oil and gas are needed to bear extreme fatigue conditions like extreme weather and high-pressure situations.
Through the continuous pursuit of uncompromising innovation, quality, and refinement, Kenneth G Lilly has become synonymous with economic fastening technology for the petrochemicals sector. Our product solutions have been developed to reduce risk and improve safety in corrosive and harsh environments, thereby improving performance, productivity, and profitability.
Our range of safety-critical petrochemical fasteners and components are manufactured to meet quality and performance criteria to ensure the most efficient solution for specific applications within the oil, gas, and petrochemical sector.