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GE Power & Water Water & Process Technologies Metallurgy Services 9669 Grogan’s Mill Road The Woodlands,

GE Power & Water

Water & Process Technologies

Metallurgy Services

9669 Grogan’s Mill Road

The Woodlands, Texas 77380

281-367-6201

281-363-7794 Fax

METALLURGICAL LAB REPORT

Representative:

Robert Stewart

Plant:

Petrojam Ltd.

 

Location:

Kingston. Jamaica

Unit:

B1C, 150 psig

Report No.:

2014-0030

Date:

March 13, 2014

BACKGROUND

Two tube sections from the B1C Boiler at the subject account were submitted for failure analysis. When the tubing was removed on January 13, 2014, the time in service was five years.

RESULTS

Figure 1 is a photograph showing the submitted tubing. The samples were not labeled and, for the purposes of this report, were arbitrarily identified as Tubes A and B. Tube A exhibited perforation (Figures 2 and 3). The external surface of Tube B was covered with tan and gray deposit, no failure was observed (Figure 4).

The tubes were split lengthwise to facilitate examination of the internal surface. The internal surface were covered with light-gray, white and brown deposit (Figures 5 and 6).

Test sections were removed from both tubes to determine the deposit weight density (DWD) values. Micrometer measurements taken before and after the deposit removal step were used to measure the deposit thickness (Figures 7 and 8). The following results were obtained:

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DWD (g/ft 2 )

Maximum Deposit Thickness (in.)

Tube A

33

0.006

Tube B

41

0.007

Scanning electron microscope-energy dispersive x-ray analysis (SEM-EDXA) was used to determine the elemental composition of the external and internal deposit in the submitted tubes. The semi-quantitative results (Table 1) indicate the external deposits were composed of mostly iron, calcium and sulfur species. Minor amounts of vanadium, sodium, chlorine, and silicon were also detected. The presence of sulfur, chlorine, sodium, and vanadium are known to cause fireside corrosion via molten salt corrosion. The internal deposit on the waterside (Table 2) consists primarily of iron, calcium, and sulfur compounds. Minor amount of sodium, magnesium, chlorine, vanadium, and silicon were also detected, along with trace amounts of other constituents. . The external and internal surfaces were mechanically cleaned to facilitate examination of the underlying metal. There was evidence of corrosion pitting on the internal surface after cleaning (Figures 911). The maximum internal surface pit depth measured in Tubes A and B was 0.014 inches and 0.018 respectively. Figures 13 and 14 showed the external surface of Tubes A and B after mechanical cleaning, which exhibited general/fireside corrosion.

At the failure edge of Tube A, the wall thickness was measured to be 0.003 inches, which represents an approximate 95% loss of metal thickness as compared to the tube nominal thickness of 0.055 inches. The combined wall loss of Tube B due to external surface corrosion and internal pitting was 0.030 inches, or 57%, when compared to the maximum thickness of 0.070 inches.

Transverse sections were cut out from selected areas of the tubes and prepared for metallographic inspection. Figures 1519 show the microstructure along the internal and

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external surface of the tubing, which exhibited general corrosion/corrosion pitting. The internal pitting appeared consistent with dissolved oxygen corrosion in the tubing. The mid-wall microstructures of the tubing consisted of ferrite/pearlite, normal for carbon steel boiler tubing in the as-manufactured condition. No overheating was observed in the tubing.

CONCLUSIONS

  • 1. The failure of Tube A was caused by combination fireside corrosion (over 95% loss of wall thickness estimated in the failed region), and general internal corrosion pitting within the thinned area.

  • 2. Tube B also exhibited combined wall loss due to external surface corrosion and internal corrosion pitting (57% wall loss, when compared to the maximum wall thickness).

  • 3. The maximum internal pitting was 0.014 inches and 0.018 inches respectively in Tubes A and B. The pitting was likely caused by dissolved oxygen corrosion.

  • 4. The composition of the fireside deposit in the thinned regions was varied, with some vanadium, sulfur-compounds, and trace chloride salts noted to be present. Vanadium, sulfur, sodium, and chlorides can combine to produce aggressive molten salts, to flux protective iron oxide scales on the tube fireside surfaces, resulting in accelerated metal loss.

  • 5. Microstructural analysis indicated that no overheating occurred in the tubing.

Michael Adeosun Metallurgical Engineer

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Element

Tube A OD White (wt %)

Tube A OD Brown (wt %)

Tube B OD Top (wt %)

Tube B OD Bottom (wt %)

Iron

93.4

38.7

41.5

96.4

Calcium

27.1

26.2

Sodium

3.1

 

0.5

  • 1.1

 

Vanadium

 
  • 3.0

2.9

 

Sulfur

2.6

26.3

26.2

2.8

Silicon

2.4

0.9

Chlorine

0.6

Chromium

0.5

Aluminum

0.4

1.4

1.8

0.4

 

Data is normalized with carbon and oxygen excluded

 

TABLE 1.

SEMI-QUANTITATIVE ELEMENTAL SEM-EDXA OF THE TUBES EXTERNAL SURFACE DEPOSIT

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Element

Tube A ID White (wt %)

Tube A ID Brown (wt %)

Tube B ID Brown (wt %)

Tube B ID Gray (wt %)

Calcium

31.7

9.2

0.7

0.5

Iron

30.0

80.1

94.5

93.1

Sulfur

27.9

3.2

0.8

Vanadium

3.4

3.8

Silicon

2.3

1.9

3.2

4.5

Nickel

1.9

Aluminum

1.6

1.3

0.1

0.5

Chromium

0.7

Sodium

0.5

0.6

Magnesium

0.3

0.6

0.5

 

Data is normalized with carbon and oxygen excluded.

 

TABLE 2.

SEMI-QUANTITATIVE ELEMENTAL SEM-EDXA OF THE TUBES INTERNAL SURFACE DEPOSIT

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Figure 1. Photograph showing the submitted tube samples as-received for evaluation.

Figure 2. Photograph showing the external surface of Tube A, at the failure.

Figure 3. Photograph showing a cross section of Tube A, at the failure (arrow).

Tube A Tube B
Tube A
Tube B
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Page 6 of 13 GE Power & Water Water & Process Technologies Figure 1. Photograph showing

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Figure 4. Photograph showing the external surface of Tube B.

Figure 5. Photograph showing the internal surface of Tube A at the failure (arrow).

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Page 7 of 13 GE Power & Water Water & Process Technologies Figure 4. Photograph showing

Figure 6. Photograph showing the internal surface of Tube B.

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Figure 7. Photograph of the internal surface of DWD test section, Tube A.

Figure 8. Photograph of the internal surface of DWD test section, Tube B.

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Page 8 of 13 GE Power & Water Water & Process Technologies Figure 7. Photograph of

Figure 9. Photograph of the internal surface of DWD test section, Tube A, after mechanical cleaning.

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Figure 10. Photograph of the internal surface of DWD test section, Tube B, after mechanical cleaning.

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Figure 11. Photograph showing the external surface of Tube B, after mechanical cleaning.

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Figure 12. Photograph showing the internal surface of Tube B, after cleaning.

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Figure 13. Photograph showing the external surface of Tube A, at the failure (arrow), after cleaning

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Figure

14..

Photograph showing the

external surface of Tube B, after

mechanical cleaning.

Page 10 of 13 GE Power & Water Water & Process Technologies Figure 13. Photograph showing

Figure 15. Photomicrograph showing the steel microstructure at the failure edge of Tube A. Nital Etch. 50x.

Page 10 of 13 GE Power & Water Water & Process Technologies Figure 13. Photograph showing

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Figure 16. Photomicrograph showing the external and internal surfaces of Tube A, adjacent to the failure. Nital Etch. 100x.

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Figure 17. Photomicrograph showing the mid-wall steel microstructure of Tube A. Nital Etch. 500x.

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Figure 18. Photomicrograph showing the internal surface steel microstructure observed on Tube B. Nital Etch. 50x.

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Figure 19. Photomicrograph showing the mid-wall steel microstructure of Tube B. Nital Etch, 500x.

Page 12 of 13 GE Power & Water Water & Process Technologies Figure 19. Photomicrograph showing

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Notes