Stress-Corrosion Cracking of Copper Absorber Tubes in an Air-Conditioning Unit
Eddy-current inspection was performed on a leaking absorber bundle in an absorption air-conditioning unit. The inspection revealed crack-like indications in approximately 50% of the tubes. The tube material was phosphorus-deoxidized copper. Investigation (visual inspection, chemical analysis, 0.75x images, 2x macrographs after light acid cleaning to remove corrosion product, and 75x micrographs) supported the conclusion that the absorber tubes failed by SCC initiated by ammonia contamination in the lithium bromide solution. No recommendations were made.