What’s NACE MR0103

NACE MR0103 (Materials Resistant to Sulfide Stress Cracking in Corrosive Petroleum Refining Environments) is a material standard developed by NACE International, formerly known as the National Association of Corrosion Engineers. It specifies the requirements for materials used in environments where sulfide stress cracking (SSC) could occur in oil and gas production, refining, and related processes.

Sulfide stress cracking is a form of hydrogen embrittlement that can occur in materials exposed to hydrogen sulfide (H2S) environments, such as those found in oil and gas operations. This standard provides guidelines for selecting materials that are resistant to this type of cracking, ensuring the safety and integrity of equipment and infrastructure in such environments.

NACE MR0103 outlines requirements for the chemical composition, mechanical properties, hardness, and other factors relevant to the performance of materials in sulfide-containing environments. Compliance with this standard helps to minimize the risk of failures and accidents associated with sulfide stress cracking, thereby improving the reliability and safety of oil and gas operations.


NACE MR0103 can apply to pipeline systems, particularly in the oil and gas industry where pipelines are commonly used for transportation. Pipelines in these industries are often exposed to environments containing hydrogen sulfide (H2S), which can lead to sulfide stress cracking (SSC) in susceptible materials.

By adhering to the guidelines set forth in NACE MR0103, pipeline operators can select materials that are resistant to sulfide stress cracking, ensuring the integrity and reliability of their pipeline systems. This standard helps in choosing appropriate materials for various components of the pipeline system, including pipes, fittings, valves, and other equipment, to mitigate the risk of failures and accidents caused by SSC.

Incorporating NACE MR0103 requirements into the design, construction, and maintenance of pipeline systems helps to enhance their safety and longevity, contributing to the overall integrity of oil and gas infrastructure. Therefore, NACE MR0103 is an important consideration for pipeline operators seeking to ensure the reliability and performance of their systems in sulfide-containing environments.

NACE MR0103 does outline specific testing procedures to evaluate the resistance of metallic materials to sulfide stress cracking (SSC) in corrosive petroleum refining environments. Some of the key testing procedures and requirements specified in the standard include:

  1. Laboratory Testing: The standard provides guidelines for conducting laboratory tests to assess the SSC resistance of materials. These tests involve subjecting test specimens to specific environmental conditions, such as exposure to hydrogen sulfide (H2S) gas, stress levels, and temperature.
  2. Test Specimen Preparation: NACE MR0103 outlines the requirements for preparing test specimens, including the size, shape, and surface finish. It also specifies the necessary documentation and information to be recorded during specimen preparation.
  3. Test Conditions: The standard defines the test conditions, including the H2S concentration, temperature, and stress levels to be used during testing. These conditions are typically representative of the corrosive environments encountered in petroleum refining operations.
  4. Test Duration: NACE MR0103 provides guidelines for the duration of the test, which may vary depending on the material being evaluated and the specific requirements of the application.
  5. Evaluation of Test Results: The standard describes the criteria for evaluating the test results. It specifies the maximum allowable values for parameters such as crack length, crack density, and the number of failures, which indicate the material’s resistance to SSC.
  6. Reporting: NACE MR0103 outlines the requirements for documenting and reporting the test results. The standard specifies the necessary information to be included in the test reports, such as the test conditions, specimen details, and evaluation results.

It’s important to note that the specific testing procedures and requirements may vary depending on the edition and updates of the NACE MR0103 standard. It is advisable to refer to the latest version of the standard for the most accurate and up-to-date information.