Burst Copper Evaporator Tubes in an Absorption Air-Conditioning Unit
An eddy current survey of the copper evaporator (chiller) tubes in an absorption air-conditioning unit revealed two tubes in the evaporator bundle with indications typical of longitudinal cracks. Significant necking down and grain distortion at the fracture surfaces was revealed by metallographic examination. The fracture features were found to be characteristic of an overload failure in a ductile material. The ruptured tubes were concluded as a result of examination to have failed as a result of excessive internal pressure. The source of the excessive internal pressure was assumed to be a freeze-up of the tube side water that occurred during interruption of the tube side flow or misoperation of the unit.