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The failure of T12 reheater tubes that had been in service for only 3000 h was investigated. The thickness of the tubes was visibly reduced by heavy oxidation corrosion on the inner and outer walls. The original pearlite substrate completely decomposed. Uniform oxide scale observed on the inner wall showed obvious vapor oxidation corrosion characteristics. Corrosion originated in the grain boundary, and selective oxidation occurred due to ion diffusion in the substrate. The layered oxide scale on the inner wall is related to the different diffusion rates for different cations. Exposure to high temperature corrosive flux accelerated the corrosion on the outer wall. Microstructure degradation and the corrosion characteristics observed indicate that the tubes failed primarily because of overheating, which is confirmed by calculations.

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