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The pipelines used for the process of hydraulic fracturing (aka fracking) process are constantly operating at very high pressure and thus are highly susceptible to Stress Corrosion Cracking (SCC). This is primarily due to the process of carrying out fracking at a shale gas site, where the hydraulic fracking fluid is pumped through these pipes at very high pressure in order to initiate fracture in the shale formation. While the fracking fluid is typically more than 99% water, other components are used as well as propping agents to hold the fractures open. Research into the occurrence of SCC reveals that SCC is engendered by a number of factors, of which two main contributors are stress in the pipe steel, and the particular type of corrosive environment that exists around the pipeline in the service setting. This current research is focused on the evaluation of the susceptibility of low alloy steel (C4340) to stress corrosion cracking in different environments as it relates to the hydraulic fracking fluid chemistry and operating conditions. These different environments are achieved by varying solution pH, component concentration and applied stress. Results of standard DC electrochemical measurements using C4340 sample coupons in the various solutions and applied stress conditions will be presented and discussed.

Publication Date


Project Designation

Graduate Research

Primary Advisor

Douglas C. Hansen

Primary Advisor's Department

Materials Degradation and Electrochemical Engineering (Research Institute-Materials Engineering)


Stander Symposium poster

Low Alloy Steel Susceptibility to Stress Corrosion Cracking in Hydraulic Fracking Environment