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Reliability Issues of HRSG

Relative frequency of the dominant damage in HRSG

We will focus on:


Low Cycle Thermo-mechanical Fatigue
Flow Accelerated Corrosion
Cold end gas-side corrosion

Some Techno-Commercial issues


affecting HRSG Reliabilities
The two paramount concerns of most purchasers of
CCGT installations are low installed cost and high
fuel efficiency
High efficiency has driven rapid increases in GT
exhaust flow and temperature imposed on HRSGs
GE CCGT Model

Exhaust Temperature
(oC)

Gas Flow
(TPH)

5371 (PA)

485

446

7121 (EA)

536

1070

9171 (E)

543

1484

9351 (FA)

608

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Some Techno-Commercial issues


affecting HRSG Reliabilities
The two paramount concerns of most purchasers of
CCGT installations are low installed cost and high
fuel efficiency
High efficiency has driven rapid increases in GT
exhaust flow and temperature imposed on HRSGs
Compared to highly rated large GTs, HRSGs are
perceived as low-risk equipment
Low-cost HRSG designs which just meet the
requirements of specifications and boiler design code
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Some Techno-Commercial issues


affecting HRSG Reliabilities
Horizontal HRSGs are constructed with tubes arranged
vertically in harps.
These harps are rigid structures requiring that adjacent
tubes remain at similar temperatures to avoid severe
thermal-mechanical fatigue damage and premature
failure.
HRSGs operating at high pressure
are having
sufficiently
thick
walled
drum
superheater
and
sometimes reheater outlet headers that require careful
management of heat up and cool down rates to avoid
internal cracking
Since combustion turbine ramp rates directly affect
HRSG component temperature ramp rates, the push to
rapid CT start ups results in greater ramp rates in HRSG
hot section components
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Damage Mechanism: Thermomechanical Low Cycle Fatigue

Damage Mechanism: Thermomechanical Low Cycle Fatigue


Location:

HP Superheater and outlet manifold


HP Steam Drum and Evaporator
circuit
Economizer

Damage Mechanism: Thermomechanical Low Cycle Fatigue


HP Superheater and outlet manifold
Reasons:

Rapid increase in GT Exhaust


temperature
during starts from any condition
Header thickness
Header to tube connection geometry
Quench cooling due to improper
condensate drain
Over spraying of attemperator/ faulty
attemperation spray
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Differential expansion amplifies drain lateral


displacement

Bowing in panel tube

Watch for bend tubes and deflection of


superheater floor pipe penetrations during
startup and shutdown
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Damage Mechanism: Thermomechanical Low Cycle Fatigue


HP Superheater and outlet manifold

Damage Mechanism: Thermomechanical Low Cycle Fatigue


HP Superheater and outlet manifold
Precaution:
Care to be taken both for ramp up and
coasting down rate
ETM to be used for 9FA machines

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Damage Mechanism: Thermomechanical Low Cycle Fatigue


HP Superheater and outlet manifold
Precaution:
Hold the GT load at a nominal block
load until steam flow is established in
the superheater
control the GT loading rate to ensure that the
temperature difference between the steam
temperature and the average header wall
temperature remains at or below the initial
difference on first admission of steam
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Damage Mechanism: Thermomechanical Low Cycle Fatigue


HP Superheater and outlet manifold
Precaution:
Unloading the GT (and using ETM on
7FA/9FAs) until outlet steam temperature is
about 50oC above the prevailing HP saturation
temperature, then holding at that load for few
minutes to let the headers through-wall
temperature gradient equalize before shutting
down the GT

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Damage Mechanism: Thermomechanical Low Cycle Fatigue


HP Superheater and outlet manifold
Condensate quenching precaution:
Low-point drains are open during startup to
purge water/condensate prior to admitting
steam to tube panels
Drains are open sufficiently early in the
startup process to ensure that all condensate
actually will be drained prior to steam
admission
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Damage Mechanism: Thermomechanical Low Cycle Fatigue


HP Superheater and outlet manifold
Condensate quenching precaution:
Proper sizing of drains is critical
Locate blowdown tanks below header drain
locations
check to see that HP, IP, and LP drains are
not combined in a common collection pipe
upstream of the blowdown tank.
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Damage Mechanism: Thermomechanical Low Cycle Fatigue


HP Superheater and outlet manifold
Over spraying of attemperation; reasons:
Typical causes include leaking spray-water
supply valves, hunting, poor piping
arrangements, overspray, and a
primary/secondary superheater surface
arrangement that is incompatible with a
given
turbines performance at startup or low load.

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Damage Mechanism: Thermomechanical Low Cycle Fatigue


HP Superheater and outlet manifold
Over spraying of attemperation; reasons:
Poor atomization of spray water because of
probe/nozzle damage or partial plugging
Improper piping designin particular an
insufficient straight run of pipe upstream
and/or downstream of the attemperator
An arrangement of superheater surface that
allows overspray to occur at startup or low
load, because all the water cannot be
evaporated.
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Damage Mechanism: Thermomechanical Low Cycle Fatigue


HP Superheater and outlet manifold
Over spraying of attemperation; Precautions:
first things to investigate is spray valve
behaviour at steady load
Check thermocouple reading upstream and
downstream when spray valve is closed
prevent spray down below 30oC of superheat
at the attemperator outlet
If too much surface is installed, remove fins
and/or gas baffles, or use tube shields, to
reduce heat transfer
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Damage Mechanism: Thermomechanical Low Cycle Fatigue


Economizer:
reasons:
In panel-type economizers, water goes up
and down in each panel, or harp
Return-bend economizers usually have
alternating upflow and downflow tubes in the
same row. In some cases, water flows up one
row, down the nexta serpentine
arrangement
a temperature differential between tube rows
of from 30 to 100 deg F can cause thermal
shock, which contributes to fatigue
failure
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Damage Mechanism: Thermomechanical Low Cycle Fatigue


Economizer:

Economizer tube leak at weld caused by thermal shock

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Damage Mechanism: Thermomechanical Low Cycle Fatigue


Economizer:
reasons:
During startup, operators expect drum level to
swell and the feedwater control valve is
closed;
no water is flowing through the boiler. During
this time, economizer panels soak to
temperatures higher than normal.
When HP drum level finally starts to drop, the
feedwater control valve opens and cold
water
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shocks the economizer.

Damage Mechanism: Thermomechanical Low Cycle Fatigue


Economizer:
Precautions:
Trickle-feed water through the HP economizer
as soon as drum pressure begins to increase
Assure positive feedwater flow thoughout the
startup period
blow down as needed to control drum level

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Damage Mechanism: Flow Accelerated


Corrosion

HP Economizer drain
tube

Feed Pipe

Feed Pipe

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Damage Mechanism: Flow Accelerated


Corrosion
Flow-accelerated corrosion (FAC) is a wellknown damage mechanism that affects carbon
steel components carrying water or two-phase
flow. Caused by the mechanically-assisted
chemical dissolution of the protective oxide and
base metal.

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Formation of Magnetite:
When carbon steel is exposed to oxygen-free
water, the following reaction occurs:
Fe + 2H2O Fe2+ + 2OH- +H2 Fe(OH)2 + H2 (1)
This reaction is then followed by the Schikorr
reaction where precipitated ferrous hydroxide is
converted into magnetite:
3Fe(OH)2 Fe3O4 + 2H2O + H2 (2)

Dissolution of Magnatite

Damage Mechanism: Flow Accelerated


Corrosion
It has lead to failures or severe wall thinning in:
Economizer/preheater tubes at inlet headers.
Economizer/preheater tube bends in regions where
steaming occurs.
Vertical LP evaporator tubes on Horizontal HRSGs,
especially in the bends near the outlet headers
LP evaporator inlet headers which have a tortuous
fluid
entry path and where orifices are installed.
LP riser tubes/pipes to the LP drum.
LP evaporator transition headers.

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Damage Mechanism: Flow Accelerated


Corrosion
FAC is a mass-transfer process in which the
protective oxide (mostly magnetite) is removed
from the steel surface by flowing water.
Material wear rate depends on
(1) Steel composition, temperature, flow
velocity and turbulence,
(2) Water and water-droplet pH, and
(3) The concentrations of both oxygen and
oxygen scavenger.

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Factors affecting FAC

Temperature
pH
O2 concentration
Mass flow rate
Geometry
Quality of fluid
Alloys of construction

FLOW ASSISTED CORROSION


Effect of temperature on material wear
rate of various metallurgies

Cr content more than 1% nearly reduces the


Greatest potential for FAC occurs around 150 C
chance of FAC to 0

FLOW ASSISTED CORROSION


pH has significant effect on material
wear rate of carbon steel

Nearly forty (40) fold reduction between


pH 8.6 and 9.4

FLOW ASSISTED CORROSION


Dissolved oxygen has direct impact

FAC minimized above 30 ppb O2


FAC increases exponentially below 30 ppb O2

FLOW ASSISTED CORROSION


Effect of Velocity

FLOW ASSISTED CORROSION


Location

Geometry affects location of FAC

Damage Mechanism: Flow Accelerated


Corrosion
Precaution:
For HRSGs with all-ferrous systems the
feedwater chemistry should be AVT(O) to
avoid single-phase FAC in the feedwater and
LP evaporator circuit.
The basic idea of AVT is to minimize corrosion
and FAC by using deaerated high purity water
with elevated pH. The pH elevation should be
achieved by the addition of ammonia.

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Effect of Temperature and Ammonia on


iron dissolution

pH correction with AVT


AVT(O) [Oxidizing All Volatile Treatment]
In oxidizing all volatile treatment the use of
reducing agent is eliminated.
For units operating with AVT(O), the achievable
iron levels can be around 1ppb or less.
With AVT(O) or OT, the protective cover layer
pores become plugged with ferric oxide hydrate
(FeOOH)
Used for all ferrous metallurgy

pH correction with AVT


AVT(O) [Oxidizing All Volatile Treatment]
The requirements for AVT(O):
Elevated pH of 9.2 9.6
Cation conductivity of less than 0.20 S/cm
Minimum air in-leakage to ensure less than
10 ppb dissolved oxygen at CPD
No additional reducing agent

pH correction with AVT


OT (Oxygenated Treatment)
In Oxygenated treatment, oxygen and ammonia
are added to feedwater

Damage Mechanism: Flow Accelerated


Corrosion
Precaution:
Turbulences should be minimized by proper
design
For new replacement and for new units
material of construction may be changed to
P11 or P22
Regular inspection of susceptible components
by ultrasonic (UT) examination needs to be
undertaken to prevent any catastrophic
failure
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Damage Mechanism: Flow Accelerated


Corrosion
Precaution:
Monitoring of iron concentration around the
steam
cycle
is
also
useful;
elevated
concentrations may indicate ongoing damage
in a specific subsystem

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Damage Mechanism: Cold End


Corrosion

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Damage Mechanism: Cold End


Corrosion
CORROSION MECHANISM

S + O2 SO2
2H2S + 3O2 2SO2 + 2H2O
2SO2 + O2 2SO3 (V2O5, Fe2O3 catalyzes reaction)
SO2 + O [Atomic Oxygen] SO3
SO3 + H2O H2SO4

Acid Gas Vapour condenses when the come in


contact with low temperature metal of the
Condensate Pre-Heater, LP Economizer or LP
Evaporator as temperature falls below Acid Dew
Point
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Damage Mechanism: Cold End


Corrosion

Damage is in evidence where first-pass tubes


intersect with inlet header and metal is coolest;
theres no dew point corrosion of second-pass
tubes
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Damage Mechanism: Cold End


Corrosion

Acid Dew Point Temperature is a factor SO3


and vapour content in the flue gas

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Damage Mechanism: Cold End


Corrosion
Precaution:
Analyze Flue Gas sample taken from cold side
of HRSG for SO3 content and calculate Acid
Dew Point temperature
Ensure water temperature at Feed Water inlet
above Acid Dew Point temperature
Regular inspection of susceptible components
by ultrasonic (UT) examination needs to be
undertaken to prevent any catastrophic
failure
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Failures Case Studies

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Case 1:
120 MW Oil Fired Boiler
Location: LHS Water Wall
Size : 76.1 x 5.5 mm
Specification: SA210 GR A1
Working Temp. & Pressure: 350C & 90
kg/cm
Service: 254378 Hrs

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The tube shows blisters at four locations (OD =


80 to 82 mm) in the spool piece between two
weld joints.
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A circumferential crack is observed near the


fusion line of one of the butt joint. Heavy
deposits are observed on the ID surface of the
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tube.

Wall thickness at 0o was measured as 1.5


mm
Micro examination of Transverse sections of
the tube at two out of four blisters reveal
oxides on the blister edges and ID surface of
the tube

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Oxides filled rounded pits are observed on


the ID surface.
Copper coloured copper rich phase
segregation is observed near the blister
edges and ID surface

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No significant deformation / decarburisation


of the adjoining grains of the pit edges and
blister edges are observed.
The microstructure consists of polygonal
grains of ferrite and pearlite

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Transverse section of the weld joint where


the circumferential crack was observed
reveals segregation of copper rich phase
near the ID surface.
Several discontinuous grain boundary cracks
with decarburisation of the adjoining grains,
typical of Hydrogen embrittlement cracks are
observed in the spool piece PM, HAZ and
weld metal of the butt joint

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One more transverse section of the weld


joint at about 180 from the circumferential
crack was also micro examined. Mismatch
between the tube members, lack of sidewall
fusion, incomplete root penetration and slag
are observed

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Conclusion:
Micro examination reveals presence of
copper coloured copper rich phase on the ID
surface and blister edges of the tube. Also
damage due to Hydrogen embrittlement is
observed in the PM, weld and HAZ regions of
the weld joint.
The blisters observed on the OD surface is
attributed to waterside corrosion may be
due to condenser leakage.
The circumferential crack observed near the
fusion line of the butt joint is attributed
Hydrogen embrittlement caused by
waterside corrosion.
Swab analysis shows presence of some
chloride and sulphur with a pH value
of 7.8.
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Case 2:
120 MW Oil Fired Boiler
Location: Goose Neck Rear Water Wall
Size : 76.1 x 5.5 mm
Specification: SA210 GR A1
Working Temp. & Pressure: 350C & 90
kg/cm
Service: 250000 Hrs

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The middle tube has burst opened with thick


lips
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Dimensional Measurement (mm):


Tube location

Outside Diameter

0-180

Near failed lip


Ring section a

90-270

Thickness

0 90 180

- - 4.08 - 6.12 74.15 78.73 3.97 5.60

270

5.78

5.67

Flattening Test: Test Method ASTM A370


A flattening specimen was taken near the
failed region. The flattening test showed
cracks on ID surface, indicative of hydrogen
embrittlement.
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The middle tube was transverse sectioned


and micro examined at the failed region. The
failed lip shows a lot of oxide filled
discontinuous cracks starting from ID
surface

Decarburization is observed near the crack


edges throughout this region.
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On
Opposite
the failed
region, the
a ring to
section
a littleaway
from the failed
microstructure
of is
polygonal
grains
region,
a similarconsists
structure
observed
of ferrite and pearlite

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Conclusion:
Several oxide filled discontinuous cracks are
observed on the ID surface of the tube. The
flattening test result indicates hydrogen
embrittlement.
The failure of the tube is attributed to
hydrogen embritlement.

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Case 3:
120 MW Oil Fired Boiler
Location: Primary SH Coil
Size : 57.15 x 4.2 mm
Working Temp. & Pressure: 510C & 85
kg/cm
Service: 243000 Hrs

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The tube shows bulging (OD=61.5 mm) and


burst opened like a fish mouth
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Dimensional Measurement (mm):


Tube location

Outside Diameter

0-180
Near failed lip
-Ring section
59.21

90-270
-61.81

0 90 180
3.03
-3.35
3.68

Thickness
270
4.27
3.93

little away

Burst section is having thick lip

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-3.82

Transverse section of the burst lip reveals


oxidation of the edges.
Several oxides filled rounded pits are
observed on the edges of the lip as wells on
the ID surface of the tube.
No significant deformation / decarburisation
of the adjoining grains of the pit edges are
observed.
The microstructure consists of polygonal
grains of ferrite and pearlite.

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Opposite to the burst and a ring section little


away from the burst also show similar type
of microstructure. Oxides filled pits are
observed in both the sections examined.

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Conclusion:
Micro examination indicates several rounded
pits filled with oxides on the ID surface of
the tube.
The failure is attributed to waterside
corrosion.

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However, take the case of a similar failure


in the same Boiler

Tube shows bulging (OD= 83.5 mm) and burst


opened with thin lips. No significant amount of
deposits is observed on ID and OD surface.
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Some rounded pits filled with oxides are


observed on the ID surface tube in all the
three sections examined.

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Transverse section of the burst lip shows oxidation of


the edges and the structure consists of bainite.

Opposite to the burst the structure shows polygonal


grains of ferrite and pearlite.

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A ring section little away from the burst shows


transformed ferrite and pearlite along the axis of
burst and polygonal grains of ferrite and pearlite,
opposite to the burst axis.

Above observations suggests that the tube


has been overheated to above AC3
temperature for the steel for a short period
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of time.

Case 4:
30 MW BFB Boiler
Location: Bed Coil Tubes
Size & Spec : 51 x 6.35 mm & SA 210 Gr.A1
Bed Temperature: 905C
Service: less than 1 year

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Tube Location

Bed Coil Tube

BFB Boiler

77

Failed Tube

Failed Bed Coil Tube


78

Failed Tube

Damage at 12 O Clock position


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Failed Tube

Deposits near damage


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During discussion, it was noted :


all three boilers are operated at nearly 25% over
loading conditions
Charcoal is used as start up fuel
Recently drum level maintained at 8 12% lower
than normal level to avoid mechanical carry over
(which was observed taking place)
Residual Phosphate was also maintained at 2-3 ppm
instead of 6-8 ppm as required for the same reason
Fuel Distribution plates were found in damaged
condition.

81

Case 5:
120 MW Tangential Fired PF Boiler
Location: 1. Platen SH Assy No 3 Tube No. 2
2. Platen SH Assy No 4 Tube No. 1
3. Platen SH Assy No 4 Tube no. 3
Size & Spec: 38.0 x 4.5 mm and CSN 15123.1
Working Temp. & Pressure: 500C & 158.2
kg/cm
Service: 1, 60, 000Hrs

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Tube 1

The tube has burst open with thick lips. Oxide scaling
is seen on the ID and OD surfaces
83

Tube 2

The tube has burst open with thick lips. Satellite


cracking is observed on the failed region. Oxide
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scaling is observed on ID surface

Tube 3

The tube has burst open up with thin lips and


cracked over a length of tube. Severe external
85 portion
metal wastage is observed on the failed

Location

Outer Diameter
0-180

1.Failed lip
1.Ring section
a little
away
2.Failed lip
2.Ring section
a little
away
3.Failed lip
3.Ring section
a little
away

Thickness

9-270

90

180

270

3.52

4.30

38.43

40.83

3.49

4.49

3.91

4.15

2.76

4.10

38.90

40.52

1.70

3.86

3.64

3.55

1.93

3.94

36.70

37.90

2.17

3.89

3.92

4.29

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Tube No.1: The tube was transverse sectioned and


micro examined. The failed lip shows Intergranular
cracks and cavities originating from OD surface.

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Opposite to the failed lip the structure shows


polygonal grains of ferrite and completely
spheroidised and partly dispersed carbides.
On a ring section away from the crack, the
microstructure shows polygonal ferrite grains and
completely spheroidised and partly dispersed
carbides.

88

Tube No.2: The tube was transverse sectioned and


micro examined. The burst lip shows creep cavities
and inter linked grain boundary cracks filled with
oxides

89

The structure at the lip and opposite to the lip shows a


structure of polygonal ferrite grains and transformed bainite.
On a ring section way from the burst, the microstucture
consists of polygonal grains of ferrite and transformed bainite
on the axis of failure. Opposite to this axis, the structure
consists of polygonal grains of ferrite and tempered bainite.

90

Tube No.3: The failed lip shows polygonal grains of ferrite


and spheroidised and partly dispersed carbides. Opposite to
the failed lip, the same microstructure is observed. On a ring
section a little away from the failed region, ferrite and in situ
spheroidised bainite are observed

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1. The failure of the tube No.1 is attributed to long term


overheating to below AC1 temperature of the material
of the steel.
2. Presence of creep cavities and inter linked grain
boundary cracks near the burst lip indicate overheating
to below AC1 temperature for the steel for long time in
Tube No.2 during service. However the microstructure
indicates that the final failure of the tube is attributed to
short term overheating to above AC1 and below AC3
temperature of the material of the steel.
3. In Tube No.3, the failure is attributed to external
metal wastage. Micro examination indicates overheating
of the tube to below AC1 temperature for the steel
during service.

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THANKS

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