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COKE DRUM

Shivangi Ruparel, Asst.Prof, K.J.Somaiya College of Engineering, Vidyavihar, Mumbai400077, ruparelshivangi@gmail.com

Sangita bansode, Asso.Prof, K.J.Somaiya College of Engineering, Vidyavihar, Mumbai400077, sangitabansode@yahoo.com

Paresh Tulankar, Engineer, Toyo Engineering India Limited, Mumbai, India

tulankarp@toyoindia.com

Abstract

One of the primary reasons leading to failure of the delayed coke drum is the severe temperature gradient due to

cyclic temperature variation. Based on the two dimensional heat conduction theories, an analytical solution of

the transient temperature stresses in the coke drum is obtained, which is then compared with Finite element

analysis done using Ansys Software. Various working temperature conditions are discussed. Numerical results

show that the present theoretical model can describe basic features of the transient temperature field in the coke

drum. A transient thermal-stress analysis is developed which gives temperature distribution and stress

parameters for given values of boundary temperatures.

Notations

Bi Biot number

Cp Specific heat [J/Kg-K]

E

Modulus of elasticity [N/mm2]

Fo

Fourier number

K

Diameter ratio = ro/rl

INTRODUCTION

A delayed coke drum is an important pressure vessel used in the delayed coking process by

petroleum industry. It can bring great economic benefit by turning faulty oil into costly

gasoline and middle fractional oil. The coke drum is a typical fabricated vessel with plates

welded circumferentially. Due to the delayed coking process, coke drum experiences cyclic

temperature variation, from room temperature to 490 in 16 to 48 hours, with the medium

inside it varying from gas to fluid and solid. After some years of operation in this severe

thermal and pressure cycling, the coke drum is subjected to the degradation in the form of

shell bulging and cracking in the shell, weld seams and skirt. The American Petroleum

Institute (API) conducted industry-wide coke drum surveys in 1968, 1980 and 1996, which

provided large amount of statistical data for the coke drum problem. A survey conducted by

API concluded that the operating parameters have far more significant roles in the longevity

of coke drums than their materials of construction, or other design parameters. Studies by

Thomas (1981) Bagdasarian et al (2000) based on the statistical data show that the reasons

leading to bulging and cracking in coke drums are multifactor, and the most important one is

the severe temperature gradient in the wall of the coke drum which induces high thermal

stresses.

In modern industry, the heat conduction problem in pipes and pressure vessels subjected to

variation in thermal conditions can be described as the transient temperature field in thick

hollow cylinders. The shell of the coke drum can be simplified as a cylinder for the analysis

purpose as suggested by Zihui Xia, Feng Ju(2010). Vollbrecht(1974) has analysed the stresses in

both cylindrical and spherical walls subjected to internal pressure and stationary heat flow.

Kandil (1975) has studied the effect of steady-state temperature and pressure gradient on

compound cylinders fitted together by shrink fit. The finite element method has been used by

Sinha (1978) to analyse the thermal stresses and temperature distribution in a hollow thick

cylinder subjected to a steady-state heat load in the radial direction. Naga (1986) has

presented the stress analysis and the optimization of both thick-walled impermeable and

permeable cylinders under the combined effect of steady-state temperature and pressure

gradient.

Although a lot of studies were conducted on transient temperature field of infinite cylinders

under constant thermal boundary conditions, only few studies involved dynamic thermal

boundary conditions. McNeill and Brock (1971) presented a simple analytical solution for a

straight pipe subjected to a linear thermal shock using discrete technique, and Marie (2004)

proposed an extension of this solution for any variation of the fluid temperature. Kandil

(1995) solved the radial temperature distribution within a cylinder under dynamic internal

temperature gradient based on the finite difference technique. Shanani and Nabavi (2007)

considered the thermal problem of an infinite cylinder subjected to time-dependent thermal

boundary condition using finite Hankel transform.

To deal with the problem of the coke drum, it is necessary to understand the character of

temperature field in the drum wall. Due to severe thermal operational conditions, it is nearly

impossible to get the exact temperature distribution by field surveys. At present, the

temperature in the drum wall is obtained by calculating it from the measured temperature of

the outer surface, or by FEM simulation. Most of the studies in the literature on coke drums

were based on field surveys and FEM analysis as concluded by Zhi-hua and LIU (2010). The

main aim of this paper is to study the transient variation of thermal stresses within thick

cylinders subjected to different operating conditions. The temperature distribution within the

cylinder wall is determined using numerical methods.

ANALYSIS OF TRANSIENT STRESSES

Following are the assumptions taken into consideration during the analysis:

(i) The ends of the cylinders are assumed to be unrestrained.

(ii) The longitudinal strain developed as a result of the stress is uniform and constant, i.e.

plane strain with = 0.

(iii) The temperature of the cylinder is considered to vary only in the radial direction and is

time-dependent, i.e. T = T(r, t).

(iv) There is no source of heat generation within the cylinder thickness.

(v) The outside surface of the cylinder is exposed to ambient conditions which are large

enough so that its temperature can be assumed to remain constant. Therefore, the mean value

of the convective heat transfer coefficient is used in the calculations.

(vi)The thermal conductivity of the cylinder material, the coefficient of linear expansion,

modulus of elasticity and Poisson's ratio are assumed to be independent of temperature.

Temperature distribution

The differential equation of time-dependent heat flow in the radial direction is given

according to Kandil (1995) in polar coordinates as

1

(1)

This equation can be solved numerically on the basis of the forward finite difference

technique. The cylinder is discretized into a cylindrical mesh using an equidistant sized grid.

The transient finite difference equation at any node of interest is derived by making an energy

balance on the volume of material associated with each node. A set of algebraic equations for

temperature is obtained for a number of nodal points through the thickness of the cylinder.

The temperature at an interior node (m), as shown in Figure. l(a), after a time interval t is

given by the equation:

= 0

1,

1 +

, +1

+1 + 1 20

(2)

For the non-interior node (n) (at the outside surface) as shown in Figure. 1 (b), the equation

of temperature is given by

= 20

1,

1 + 0 + 1 20

1,

(3)

Figure. 1. Thick cylinder model: (a) interior node, (b) non-interior node.

Then, the temperature distribution is obtained by solving these equations at specified time

intervals t. It is worth mentioning that for small values of radial interval (r) and of Fourier

number (Fo) the mesh density increases and therefore the calculation time increases.

However, the calculation accuracy also increases. Taking advantages of computer facilities in

the calculations, r is chosen to be small enough so that its effect on the accuracy of the

resulting temperature is negligible. The relevant time interval (t) should be determined to

verify the stability of Equations (2) and (3):

=

where the following condition is satisfied,

0.5 > 0 <

0 2

(4)

1,

(5)

There are four different kinds of working conditions possible for the temperature at the

boundary of the inside surface of the cylinder. These are as follows:

(i) The temperature of the inside surface is suddenly changed from to and remains

constant during the operating time, i.e.

, =

(6)

(ii) The temperature of the inside surface is linearly increased within a so-called heating time

( ) up to the operating temperature and then remains constant over the operating time.

, = +

, =

0

7

(iii) The temperature of the inside surface during the operating time is oscillating according

to the harmonic function, i.e.

, = + sin 2

(8)

(iv) The temperature of the inside surface takes an arbitrary periodic form over the operating

time, i.e.

, = +

=1

sin 2

(9)

The solution of this problem is given by the following equation

= +

ln

( )

ln

(10)

where T(r) is the temperature at radius r, and are the inner and outer radii, with as the

inside wall temperature.

Distribution in circumferential direction

in the radial direction for = -/2 , /2

In order to calculate the thermal stress distribution in a thick-walled cylinder under the

assumptions made above, the following equilibrium equation is considered:

=0

(11)

The total strain is made up of two strains. The first one is dependent on the induced stresses

and the other one is due to free thermal expansion. Thus, the relation between thermal

stresses and strains follows the thermo elasticity formulae given below:

1

+ =

+ =

= +

1

= +

1

= +

+ = 0

(12)

(13)

(14)

From Equations (12) and (13), then

+ = 0

(15)

Substituting (12) and (13) into Eqn (15) and using Eqn (11), yields

1

3

3 = 1

(16)

Solving Equation (16) with the boundary condition at the inside and outside surfaces, (r =

and r = ), gives:

1

= 1 2

2 +2

2 2

. +

. . 2

(17)

2 +2

2 2

= 1 2

= 1

2

2 2

(18)

(19)

using Simpsons trapezoidal rule. Thus,

. =

. =

, .

, .

(20)

(21)

A long thick-walled cylinder, initially at a uniform temperature To, has its outer radius

temperature raised at a constant rate to temperature Tf. After a steady state of heat flow has

been reached, the tangential stress at the inner and outer surfaces can be determined and

outer-to-inner surface temperature difference and the tangential stress as a function of time

can be found. The thermal steady state condition is satisfied when the inner and outer wall

temperature difference is constant. A transient thermal-stress analysis is required with a

sufficient time period to allow the steady-state condition to be obtained.

Analysis assumptions

(i) Due to symmetry, only a wedge of arbitrary height is required for modelling. A 5 wedge

is selected to minimize curved geometry effects when using a lower order element.

(ii) For a ramped load condition, the constant temperature rise per second is assumed.

(iii) Since the structural dynamic effects are not of concern, inertial and damping structural

effects are ignored, by specifying time integration for the temperature degree of freedom

only.

A sufficient number of elements are modelled through the thickness such that an accurate

thermal transient and nodal stress results are obtained. Symmetric structural boundary

conditions are used at the radial and bottom planes. Since the cylinder being modelled is

long, nodes are coupled to enforce a constant axial strain condition.

Table 1: Material, Geometry and Load data for analysis

Material Properties

E = 30 x 106 N/ m2

= 0.3

= 15.12 x 10-6 /K

= 7861.09 kg/m3

c = 418.6 J/kg-K

Geometric Properties

a = 9500 mm

b = 9545 mm

h = 42900 mm

Loading

Tf = 370 C

To = 38C

A complete evaluation of temperature and stress distributions, in a non-steady state, has been

obtained by solving the above mathematical model numerically. In this model, the

temperature at the boundary of the inside surface of the cylinder is assumed to change

according to the working conditions given by Equations (6-9).

In all the considered boundary conditions, the temperature at different radii of the cylinder

increases with time and approaching the value (or the mean value in the case of oscillation) of

the inner surface temperature. Then the temperature at each radius reaches the steady-state

value after a transient time.

CONCLUSIONS

A theoretical study of thermal stress analysis has been carried out for thick-walled cylinders

subjected to a transient temperature gradient with different operating conditions. The analysis

reveals that the maximum effective stress always occurs at the inside surface of the cylinder,

and its peak value takes place at the start of the operating temperature.

In order to reduce the effective stress in the coke drum, the inner surface should be heated

gradually up to the operating temperature. The transient time after which the temperature of

the drum reaches the steady-state condition is proved to depend on both the diameter ratio

and the heating time. The solution is in a close form, and can be easily applied to discuss the

effects of the parameters of the coke drum on the transient temperature distribution.

Acknowledgement

The authors are grateful to Mr.Mangesh Shirpurkar, Joint Manager, Heat Transfer & Applied

Technology department, Toyo Engineering India Limited for his encouragement and help in

the preparation of this paper. Technical assistance for analyzing temperature distribution in

coke drum was provided by TOYO Engineering India Limited.

REFERENCES

[1] Thomas, J. W. API survey of coke drum cracking experience. Proceedings-Refining

Department, American Petroleum Institute, 46th Midyear Meeting, Chicago, Illinois,

141153 (1981)

[2] Bagdasarian, A. et al. Integrity of coke drums (summary of 1998 API coke drum

surver). ASME, Pressure Vessels and Piping Division (PVP) , 265270 (2000)

[3] Zihui Xia, Feng Ju Pierre Du Plessis, , Heat Transfer and Stress Analysis of Coke

Drum for a Complete Operating Cycle, Journal of Pressure Vessel Technology by

ASME, Vol. 132 / 051205-12, (2010)

[4] H. Vollbrecht, Stress in cylindrical and spherical walls subjected to internal pressure

and stationary heat flow, Verfahrenstechnik 8, 109-112 (1974)

[5] A. Kandil, Investigation of stress analysis in compound cylinders under high pressure

and temperature, M.Sc. Thesis, CIT Helwan (1975)

[6] R. N. Sinha, Thermal stress analysis of a hollow thick cylinder by the finite element

method. J. Inst. Eng. (India) Mech. Eng. Division, (1978)

[7] S. A. R. Naga, Optimum working conditions in thick walled cylinders, d. Eng. Mater.

TechnoI, Trans. ASME. 108, (1986)

[8] McNeill, D. and Brock, J. Engineering Data File Charts for Transient Temperatures

in Pipes, Heat/Piping/Air Condition Eng., 107119 (1971)

[9] Marie, S. Analytical expression of the thermal stresses in a vessel or pipe with

cladding submitted to any thermal transient. International Journal of Pressure Vessels

and Piping 81(4), 303312, (2004)

[10] Kandil, A., EL-Kady, A., and EL-Kafrawy, A. Transient thermal stress analysis of

thick-walled cylinders. Int. J. Mech. Sci. 37(7), 721732 (1995)

[11] Shahani, A. R. and Nababi, S. M. Analytical solution of the quasi-static

thermoelasticity problem in a pressurized thick-walled cylinder subjected to transient

thermal loading. Appl. Math.Modelling 31(9), 18071818 (2007)

[12] Zhi-hua NING, Ren-huaiLIU, Analysis of transient temperature field in coke drums,

Appl. Math. Mech. -Engl. Ed. 31(3), 291304 DOI 10.1007/s10483-010-0303-7,

(2010)

[13] Wang, Zheng et al. Numerical simulation of the transient heat transfer of coke drums

and study on the characteristic of stress filed, Pressure Vessel 22(10), 2327 (2005)

[14] Kardomateas, G. A. Transient thermal stresses in cylindrically orthotropic composite

tubes. ASME J. Appl. Mech, 411417 (1989)

[15] Yee, K. C. and Moon, T. J. Plane thermal stress analysis of an orthotropic cylinder

subjected to an arbitrary, transient, asymmetric temperature distribution. ASME J.

Appl. Mech., 632640 (2002)

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