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Sulfide stress cracking, a form of hydrogen embrittlement, first became a serious problem in the oil industry in 1951. Subsequent improvements in the metallurgy of steels for high-pressure gas and oil wells and improved selection methods for high-strength alloys have been based on laboratory test methods. Of the large number of test methods that have been used, five have survived: the Shell bent beam test, the uniaxial load tension test, the double-cantilever-beam test, the C-ring test, and the slow strain rate test. Major features of these tests are compared in terms of their applicability to specific sulfide stress cracking problems. In addition, a general comparison is made of the testing requirements for the sulfide stress cracking system and for anodic stress corrosion cracking systems involving hydrogen sulfide. These comparisons illustrate the need to design environmental cracking tests which reflect both corrosion mechanism factors and application requirements.
review, sulfide stress cracking (SSC), oil industry, laboratory tests, tension test, bent beam test, double-cantilever-beam test (DCB), C-ring test, slow strain rate test, hydrogen sulfide, low alloy steels, corrosion resistant alloys (CRAs)
Consulting corrosion engineer, Oakland, CA