Fatigue Failure of Carbon-Molybdenum Steel Boiler Tubes Caused by Vibration
Tubes in a marine boiler on a new ship failed after brief service lives. Circumferential brittle cracking was found to occur in the carbon-molybdenum steel tubes near the points where the tubes were attached to the steam drum. Fatigue striations were revealed by examination of fracture surfaces by electron microscopy at high magnification. Fatigue failures were concluded to be caused by vibrations resulting from normal steam flow at high steam demand. Too rigid support near the steam drum resulted in concentration of vibratory strain in the regions of failure. The method of supporting the tubes was changed to reduce the amount of restraint and the strain concentration.