Determining the root causes of failure in low toughness carbon steel fittings, flanges and piping

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Michiel Peter Hein Brongers Michiel Peter Hein Brongers
Principal Engineer

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Failure of commercially available ASTM/ASME carbon steel (CS) fittings, flanges, and piping due to low toughness is a recurring problem.

Chemistry, fabrication approach, heat treatment, and the use of 100% recycled steels are likely contributing factors, but the underlying root cause is unknown, and existing industry standards are insufficient to prevent the issue.


This project aims to:
  • Test commercially available fittings and flanges
  • Analyze results and present findings to industry and 
  • Interpret results to determine root cause(s) of low toughness. 
We will share the solution through an industry guideline. 


A guideline, when applied, can significantly increase safety, reliability, and quality. This will reduce the costs resulting from low toughness components.


One company reported having incurred >USD100M direct cost due to delays associated with replacement of thousands of flanges in a single new construction project. 

A failure in an existing plant can cost >USD1M per day in lost production. Subsequent investigations, inspections, and replacements can cost much more.