I believe that studying complex phenomena such as sulfide stress cracking (SSC) of carbon and low alloy steels (LAS) requires a holistic historical perspective. For example, understanding the influence of microstructure on SSC resistance was made possible thanks, in part, to advances in electron and transmission electron microscopy.
Since the early SSC failures that affected oil and gas equipment short after World War II,- much of our understanding of the underlying failure mechanisms as well as industry regulations matured in parallel with improvements in characterization techniques and discoveries in physical metallurgy and corrosion. Nevertheless, the fundamental assumptions that led to the development of international standards such as NACE MR-0175 and ISO 15156 have remained more or less unchanged since their introduction more than 40 years ago. The persistence of the restriction in the allowable nickel content, the sole focus on hardness and strength limits rather than controlling causative factors such as the presence of untempered martensite illustrate this disjunctive quite well.
A historical perspective
I have recently started to compile a timeline describing the key events that catalyzed the development of the NACE MR–0715 specification as well as the fundamental research that exploded as a consequence of recurrent failures and global standardization activities. I hope to gain a better understanding not only of the mechanisms responsible for SSC of LAS, but also of the reasons behind certain controversial decisions in standardization committees.
Although it is a still a work in progress, I like to share the timeline with the community. I appreciate the feedback from anyone working in this area; in particular from people involved in early research and NACE committee discussions.
The timeline is embedded below and, thanks to the magic of the cloud, it will always be up-to-date. The entries can be expanded or collapsed for better viewing. There are a basic search function as well as zoom and panning tools. The full-screen version can be accessed HERE.
Update 30 May 2017
- Added a brief overview of the history of the European Federation of Corrosion Publications no. 16 and 17.
- Added the sequence of the international standard ISO 15156 development.
- Expanded on the Texas 1978 failure that prompted the complete revision of the NACE MR–0175 standard.
- ISO 15156/NACE MR0175 - A New International Standard for Metallic Materials for Use in Oil and Gas Production in Sour Environments,” CORROSION 2003, paper no. 03090 (16–20 March, San Diego, CA: NACE International, 2003). D.E. Milliams, R.N. Tuttle, “
- MR0175 - A History and Development Study,” CORROSION 99, paper no. 418 (25–30 April, San Antonio, TX: NACE International, 1999). Patrick, D. H.,“
- Smith, L, “An Overview of European Federation of Corrosion Documents EFC16 and EFC17,” CORROSION 1999, Paper no. 99423 (NACE International, 25-30 April, San Antonio, TX).
ISO 15156 (1-3) Petroleum and natural gas industries - Materials for use in H2S-containing environments in oil and gas production., International Organization for Standardization, Geneva, Switzerland (2015).
European Federation of Corrosion, "Guidelines on Materials Requirements for Carbon and Low Alloy Steels for H2S-Containing Environments in Oil and Gas Production," Publication No. 16, 3rd ed., Maney Publishing, Leeds, U.K. (2009).
European Federation of Corrosion, "Corrosion Resistant Alloys for Oil and Gas Production: Guidance on General Requirements and Test Methods for H2S Service," Publication No. 17, 2rd ed., Maney Publishing, Leeds, U.K. (2002).