Petrochemicals are chemical products made from raw materials of petroleum or other hydrocarbons. Although some of the chemical compounds that originate from petroleum may also be derived from coal and natural gas, petroleum is the major source.
The largest petrochemical industries are to be found in the USA and Western Europe, though the major growth in new production capacity is in the Middle East and Asia. There is a substantial inter-regional trade in petrochemicals of all kinds.
The petrochemical industry is highly competitive, requires meaningful technological innovation, necessitates the need for significant capital investment and operates across the globe. Petrochemical products are highly valuable compared to other fuels. This means that, while the petrochemical sector represents approximately only 10% of the petroleum industry, on the basis of product value, it holds a much larger share.
Duplex and Carbon Steel in the Petrochemical Industry
Duplex and carbon steel are usually the two most alloys that are the material of choice in the petrochemical industry. They are called ‘duplex’ as they have approximately equal proportions of ferritic and austenitic phases. This chemical composition gives it better strength, weight saving, greater corrosion resistance and a better price stability.
Unlike similar steels, duplex also displays improved resistance to localised corrosion, particularly pitting, crevice corrosion and stress corrosion cracking. Due to its ferritic qualities, it also shows very good resistance to stress corrosion cracking, as well as good ductility when compared to standard austenitic steels. In some cases, the strength of duplex stainless steel can be up to double that of the most commonly used grades of stainless steel.
In terms of applications, duplex piping products are used for a wide variety of functions such as:
• Transportation of various liquids and gases,
• Structural and mechanical components of processing plants
• Heat exchangers
• Cooling pipes
Special Piping Materials and the Petrochemical Industry
Special Piping Materials sources and supplies and very wide range of pipes, seamless steel tubes, fittings and flanges for petrochemical plants across the globe.
We understand how important it is for our clients to have the very best products to ensure that their pipelines and plants do not face failure in the sometimes very harsh environments that they are based. Our many years of experience in the industry means that we can supply any technical products that are required and can certify that our products meet rigorous testing standards.
As is to be expected, the pipes, fittings and flanges required in the petrochemical industry have to undergo scrupulous destructive and non-destructive testing. They have to prove themselves to be able to resist certain corrosive environments while remaining as strong and durable as they are immediately after being manufactured.