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A failed SAE-192 carbon steel tube from a 6.2-MPa (900-psig), 200-Mg/h (180-ton/h) capacity refinery boiler was analyzed to determine its failure mode. Optical and SEM examination results were combined with knowledge of the boiler operating conditions to conclude that the failure was hydrogen-induced. The hydrogen was probably generated by the steam-iron reaction. The source of steam on the flue gas side could be traced to a cracked fillet weld in the boiler The failure mode was unusual in that the attack was found to originate from the flue gas side of the tube rather than the steam side.

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Moavinul Islam, An Unusual Case of Hydrogen-Induced Failure in a Refinery Boiler Tube, Handbook of Case Histories in Failure Analysis, Vol 2, Edited By Khlefa A. Esaklul, ASM International, 1993, p 145–147,

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