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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Sulfide stress cracking resistance of API-X100 high strength low alloy steel in H2S environments Almansour, Mansour A.


Sulfide Stress Cracking (SSC) resistance of the newly developed API-X100 High Strength Low Alloy (HSLA) steel was investigated in the NACE TM0177 "A" solution. The NACE TM0177 "A" solution is a hydrogen sulfide (H2S) saturated solution containing 5.0 wt.% sodium chloride (NaC1) and 0.5 wt.% acetic acid (CH3COOH). The aim of this thesis was to study the effect of microstructure, non-metallic inclusions and alloying elements of the X100 on H2S corrosion and SSC susceptibility. The study was conducted by means of electrochemical polarization techniques and constant load (proof ring) testing. Microstructural analysis and electrochemical polarization results for X100were compared with those for X80, an older generation HSLA steel. Uniaxial constant load SSC testing was conducted using X100 samples and the results were compared with those reported for older generation HSLA steels. Addition of H2S to the NACE TM0177 "A" solution increased the corrosion rate of X100from 51.6 to 96.7 mpy. The effect of H2S on the corrosion rate was similar for X80. The corrosion rate for X80 increased from 45.2 to 80.2 mpy when H2S was added to the test solution. Addition of H2S enhanced the anodic kinetics by forming a catalyst (FeHSads) on the metal surface and as a result, shifted the anodic polarization curve to more current densities. Moreover, the cathodic half cell potential increased due to the decrease in pH, from 2.9 to 2.7, which shifted the cathodic polarization curve to more current densities. The increase in both the anodic and cathodic currents, after H2S addition, caused the rise in the corrosion current density. In H2S saturated NACE TM-0177 "A" solution, the X100 steel corrosion rate was higher than the X80 steel by 20%. Longer phase boundaries and larger nonmetallic inclusions in the X100 microstructure generated more areas with dissimilar corrosion potentials and therefore, a stronger driving force for corrosion. Higher density of second phase regions and larger nonmetallic inclusions acted as an increased cathode area on the X100 surface which increased the cathodic current density and consequently, increased the corrosion current density. Proof ring tests on the X100 gave a threshold stress value, C5th, of 46% YS, 343.1 MPa(49.7 ksi). The main failure was caused by SSC cracking. SSC nucleated at corrosion pits on the metal surface and microcracks in the metal body and propagated perpendicular to the applied stress. Hydrogen Induced Cracking (HIC) was observed in the X100. HIC cracks nucleated at banded martensite-ferrite interfaces and propagated along the rolling direction parallel to the applied tensile stress through the softer ferrite phase. When compared to older HSLA grades, the X100 tested in this study had a high SSC susceptibility and therefore, is not be recommended for H2S service applications. The high X100 SSC susceptibility was caused by the material high corrosion rates in H2Smedia which formed corrosion pits that acted as crack initiation sites on the metal surface and provided more hydrogen that migrated into the steel. In addition, the X100 inhomogeneous microstructure provided a high density of hydrogen traps in front of the main crack tip which promoted SSC microcrack formation inside the metal. Microcracks in the metal body connected with the main crack tip that originated from corrosion pits which assisted SSC propagation.

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