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Cracks in FCC expander blades

Cracks in FCC expander blades

(OP)
Dear all,

Some weeks ago, some cracks have appeared in the expander blades in one of our FCC units. The cracks appeared suddenly, from one month to another.
We have low fresh catalyst addition rate, so the turnover of the e-cat is very low. It has provoked the ageing of the inventory. We have measured hardness of the e-cat vs time (throgh e-cat attrition with Jet Cup analysis, Davison Index) and D.I. has decreased from 2-3 to 1-2. Do you consider that this increase in DI justify the appearance of the blades? What could be the potential causes of the problem?

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