Failure of Admiralty Brass Condenser Tubes
Leaks developed in 22 admiralty brass condenser tubes. The tubes were part of a condenser that was being used to condense steam from a nuclear power plant and had been in operation for less than 2 years. Analysis identified three types of failure modes: stress-corrosion cracking, corrosion under deposit (pitting and crevice), and dezincification. Fractures were transgranular and typical of stress-corrosion cracking. The primary cause of the corrosion deposit was low-flow conditions in those parts of the condenser where failure occurred. Maintenance of proper flow conditions was recommended.