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Process Instrumentation in Oil and Gas

Process Instrumentation in Oil and Gas

Process instrumentation is an integral p...

Check Valves in LNG Cryogenic Service

Check Valves in LNG Cryogenic Service

Because natural gas is currently conside...

Will Smart Machines Obsolete Human Resources?

Will Smart Machines Obsolete Human Resources?

Is artificial intelligence (AI) going to...

Is Valve Live Loading an Option?

Is Valve Live Loading an Option?

Valves leak. There’s no getting ar...

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Construction and Mining: Is 2018 The Year for Growth?

Construction and Mining: Is 2018 The Year for Growth?

Tuesday, 12 December 2017  |  Kate Kunkel

While there is a degree of optimism in the mining industry that hasn’t been seen for some years, much uncertainty still exists in this sector. A...

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Industry Headlines

United Valve Names Jim Nelson Engineering and Production Manager

7 HOURS AGO

United Valve LP has promoted Jim Nelson to production and engineering manager. Nelson will be responsible for overseeing all production and engineering activities at United Valve.

“Jim Nelson has demonstrated consummate professionalism and shown his strong leadership skills, earning the respect ...

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Setpoint I.S. Honored by Baton Rouge Business Report

1 DAY AGO

Setpoint Integrated Solutions (Setpoint I.S.) was honored this fall at the Baton Rouge Business Report’s Top 100 Private Companies Luncheon. Celebrating its 35th Anniversary this year, the Baton Rouge Business Report hosts many events in the community.

At the most recent event , the Top 100 Private C...

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EIA Forecasts Record U.S. Oil Output in 2018

1 DAY AGO

The U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) estimates that U.S. crude oil production averaged 9.7 million barrels per day (b/d) in November, up 360,000 b/d from the October level. Most of the increase was in the Gulf of Mexico, where production was 290,000 b/d higher than in October. Higher pro...

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Chemical Industry Growth Rate Surpasses 20-Year Average

2 DAYS AGO

The U.S. chemical industry is riding a global wave of growth as the world’s major economies experience an upswing for the first time in a decade. Increased output and accelerating growth rates that surpass the previous twenty-year average will help cement the business of American chemistry as ...

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U.S. Manufacturing Technology Orders Up 6.3%

2 DAYS AGO

Orders for manufacturing technology kept their momentum in October 2017, gaining 6.3% over September to a total value of $428.32 million, according to the latest U.S. Manufacturing Technology Orders Report from The Association for Manufacturing Technology (AMT). Year to date, orders are up 7.6% comp...

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NAM Survey: Manufacturers’ Optimism Reaches Record High

3 DAYS AGO

The National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) released the results of the Manufacturers’ Outlook Survey for the fourth quarter of 2017, showing manufacturers’ optimism has risen to unprecedented heights amid the legislative progress made on tax reform. With 94.6% of respondents saying ...

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Nickel-Copper Alloys

materials_q_and_a_graphicQ: Are the nickel-copper alloys (such as UNS N04400) acceptable for use in accordance with the NACE sour service standards?

 

A: This question has been asked frequently, usually in relation to a valve for an upstream hydrocarbon application involving sour water that also contains chlorides. Nickel-copper alloys can be an economical option for such applications. However, changes in the NACE standards within the last decade have complicated the issue.

The original version of NACE MR0175 released in 1975 allowed N04400 material with a 35 HRC maximum hardness requirement. In 1982, N04405, the higher-sulfur, free-machining version of N04400, was balloted, approved and added by addendum. M35-1 and M35-2, two cast “equivalents” of N04400, were balloted and added to a 1991 revision.

In addition to weak grades, the ­precipitation-hardenable N05500 was also included in the original 1975 ­version, with a maximum hardness of 35 HRC provided the material was hot-worked and age-hardened, solution-annealed, or solution-annealed and age-hardened.

When the MR0175 rewrite was under production as a precursor to ISO 15156, the weak grades (N04400, N04405, M35-1 and M35-2) were omitted for general usage and relegated to specific oil and gas field applications (i.e., they were no longer allowed for valve components). Many end users felt this alloy family was not needed for general sour upstream petroleum applications.

In addition, because of some field failures in N05500 fasteners, an effort was made to eliminate this material as well. In the end, N05500 was retained in the new standard, but was relegated to use in:

  • Wellhead and Christmas tree components other than bodies or bonnets, with specific pH and hydrogen sulfide partial pressure restrictions
  • Non-pressure-containing internal components in valves, pressure regulators or level controllers, and
  • The same specific oil and gas field applications as soft alloys.

Because NACE defines valve shafts and stems as pressure-containing components, this material could no longer be used for shafts and stems when compliance with MR0175 was required.

Shortly after NACE MR0175-2003 was released, it was converted to ISO 15156, which NACE then adopted back as NACE MR0175/ISO 15156. No changes were made regarding the ­nickel-copper materials.

In the meantime, NACE MR0103, the downstream (oil refining) sour service standard, was released (in 2003), and included N04400, N04405, M35-1, M35-2 and M30C (another N04400 cast equivalent), as well as N05500 with the same metallurgical requirements that were specified in the pre-2003 versions of NACE MR0175. No restrictions regarding the types of components that could be made from the N05500 grade were made.

In 2005, ISO 15156-3:2003 Technical Corrigendum 2 (essentially an addendum to NACE MR0175/ISO 15156) was released, allowing use of N04400 and N04405 for general purposes. However, the cast grades were not included in this change.

When NACE MR0175/ISO 15156 Second Edition was published in 2009, N04400 and N04405 were inserted into the main document along with the other solid solution nickel alloys.

A summary of the acceptability of these various nickel-copper materials is shown in Table 1.

vmfall12_repair_table1

The ramification of this situation is that it is not possible to produce many valve designs using an all nickel-copper construction in accordance with the current version of NACE MR0175. If the body style requires a casting (such as a globe valve), the cast alloys are not permitted. In addition, N04400 and N04405 are rarely strong enough to use for shafts or stems, and N05500 is not allowed for those components.

Therefore, unless the valve body can be produced from a wrought material form such as a plate or forging, and the shaft can be made from the lower-strength N04400 or N04405, some other, non-nickel-copper material will need to be used for the body and the stem or shaft.


Don Bush is a principal materials engineer at Emerson Process Management–Fisher Valve ­Division (www.emersonprocess.com). Reach him at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

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