Francisco Fernandez - PDVSA-INTEVEP
Thermal stress of the coke drums is an inherent consequence of the cyclic process of quenching and heating. Cracking and bulging of drums have been deemed inevitable. In addition, there is an increasing pressure for pushing up production, often achieved by shortening coking cycles. Therefore, industry efforts have focused on developing new technologies of design, inspection and repair of coke drums.
This paper provides a different approach, examining the quenching and preheating stages from the plant point of view. A case study of a drum that experienced a through-wall crack is presented. A summary of the proposed operational changes is reviewed, and the extent to which the thermal stress of the coke drums can actually be reduced is also discussed.