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A Rational Methodology for Determination of Service Life for a Delayed Coke Drum Open Access


Other title
thermo-mechanical loading
cyclic life determination
delayed coker drum
Type of item
Degree grantor
University of Alberta
Author or creator
Aumuller, John J
Supervisor and department
Chen, Zengtao (Mechanical Engineering)
Xia, Zihui (Mechanical Engineering)
Examining committee member and department
Luo, Jingli (Chemical and Materials Engineering)
Doucette, John (Mechanical Engineering)
Dai, Liming (University of Regina, Mechanical Engineering)
Wang, Xiadong (Mechanical Engineering)
Ma, Yongsheng (Mechanical Engineering)
Department of Mechanical Engineering

Date accepted
Graduation date
2017-06:Spring 2017
Doctor of Philosophy
Degree level
Delayed coking is an essential technology in the upgrading of heavy hydrocarbons in the Canadian oil sands for producing saleable liquid and gas products in order to sustain a viable national energy industry. Delayed coking units contain among the largest pressure vessels used in heavy industry and are operated under severe thermo-mechanical loading conditions. Beginning in the late 1950’s, it was recognized that drum shell cracking presented a major source of reduced unit reliability affecting safety and financial viability of the delayed coking process. There are very few focused studies in the open literature on coke drums investigating the root cause, the mitigation of the thermo-mechanical failure mechanism and remaining life prediction. This work is a continuation of prior work to define, in detail, the thermo-mechanical loading of coke drums and evaluate its impact on service life. The available operating data in the open literature is limited and problematic; thus, the access given to proprietary data was invaluable in completing this effort. In order to best serve the industry, this thesis has used as much data, techniques and methodologies currently available in the industry to perform the service life determination so that industry practitioners may implement this work without resorting to difficult and unnecessarily complicated methods and, better, to honour the vigor of industry practices and the contributions of the many mechanical engineers who developed them.
This thesis is made available by the University of Alberta Libraries with permission of the copyright owner solely for the purpose of private, scholarly or scientific research. This thesis, or any portion thereof, may not otherwise be copied or reproduced without the written consent of the copyright owner, except to the extent permitted by Canadian copyright law.
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