Stress corrosion cracking for 316 stainless steel clips in a condensate stabilizer

A. Al-Awar, S. Aldajah, A. Harhara

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


In one of the gas processing facilities in Abu Dhabi, UAE; a case of 316L stainless steel material failure occurred in the fractionating column due to stress cracking corrosion twice in a cycle of less than 2 years. This paper studies the stress corrosion cracking behavior of the 316L stainless steel in an accelerated corrosion environment and compares it with a higher corrosion resistant nickel alloy (Inconel 625). The experimental work was designed according to ASTM G36 standard, the samples were immersed in a boiling magnesium chloride medium which provided the accelerated corrosion environment and the tested samples were shaped into U-bend specimens as they underwent both plastic and elastic stresses. The specimens were then tested to determine the time required for cracks to initiate. The results of the experimental work showed that the main mode of failure was stress corrosion cracking initiated by the proven presence of chlorides, hydrogen sulfide, and water at elevated temperatures. Inconel 625 samples placed in the controlled environment showed better corrosion resistance as it took them an average of 56 days to initiate cracks, whereas it took an average of 24 days to initiate cracks in the stainless steel 316L samples. The scanning electron microscopy (SEM) micrographs showed that the cracks in the stainless steel 316L samples were longer, wider, and deeper compared to the cracks of Inconel 625.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)884-889
Number of pages6
JournalMaterials and Corrosion
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2011


  • 316 stainless steel
  • inconel
  • stress corrosion cracking

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Chemistry
  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Surfaces, Coatings and Films
  • Metals and Alloys
  • Materials Chemistry


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