This paper describes a model developed for computer simulation of stresses in heater tubes used in petrochemical service. The model predicts the damage to the tube material and thus provides an assessment of both tube design life and residual-life of tubes that have been subjected to service exposure. The analysis procedure has been incorporated into a computer code (TUBE), which has been applied to a number of applications for heat-resistant alloys. The focus of these applications has been to address the effect of sustained and cyclic loadings on the predicted service lives of tubes used in elevated temperature service. The model was originally developed at Battelle-Columbus in the 1970s, as part of an industrial group research program on “Materials for Steam Reformer Furnaces.” The computer model uses conventional numerical approaches [1–4] to solve finite element models of two-dimensional creep problems. This paper addresses the practical difficulties of applying such models to real service conditions and real commercial alloys.

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