Failure Analysis of Turbine Blades
Two 20 MW turbines suffered damage to second-stage blades prematurely. The alloy was determined to be a precipitation-hardening nickel-base superalloy comparable to Udimet 500, Udimet 710, or Rene 77. Typical protective coatings were not found. Test results further showed that the fuel used was not adequate to guarantee the operating life of the blades due to excess sulfur trioxide, carbon, and sodium in the combustion gases, which caused pitting. A molten salt environmental cracking mechanism was also a factor and was enhanced by the working stresses and by the presence of silicon, vanadium, lead, and zinc. A change of fuel was recommended.