Rivet-Hole Cracks in a Steam Boiler
A water tube boiler with two headers and 15.5 atm working pressure became leaky in the lower part due to the formation of cracks in the rivet-hole edges. The boiler plate of 20 mm thickness was a rimming steel with 0.05% C, traces of Si, 0.38% Mn, 0.027% P, 0.035% S, and 0.08% Cu. The mean value of the yield point was 24 (24) kg/sq mm, the tensile strength 39 (38) kg/sq mm, the elongation at fracture, d10, 26 (24)%, the necking at fracture 71 (66)% and notch impact value 11.5 (9.4) kgm/sq cm (the values in brackets are for the transverse direction). The specimen from inside surface of the boiler was polished and etched with Fry-solution, which revealed parallel striations formed due to the cold bending of the plate. The zones of slip were concentrated around the rivet holes. The cracks were formed here. The structure examination proved that the cracks had taken an exactly intercrystalline path, which is characteristic for caustic corrosion cracks. It was recommended that the internal stresses be removed through annealing or alternatively lye-resistant steel should be used.
Friedrich Karl Naumann, Ferdinand Spies, Rivet-Hole Cracks in a Steam Boiler, ASM Failure Analysis Case Histories: Rail and Rolling Stock, ASM International, 2019, https://doi.org/10.31399/asm.fach.rail.c9001175
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