Steel and Metal Processing Equipment
In a HyL III heat exchanger's radiant pipes, metal dusting reduced the pipe thickness from 8.5 to 3 mm in just nine months, leaving craters on the inner surface. The pipes are fabricated from HK 40 alloy. The heated gas (400 to 800 deg C) consisted of CO, CO2, and H2, with a 4:1 CO/CO2 ratio. Metallographic investigations revealed that the surface of the attacked pipes consisted of (Cr, Fe) carbide. The metal dusting was the result of a decomposition process (CO to CO2 + C) that deposited C on the pipe surface. Because of the high temperature, the C subsequently diffused through the surface oxide layer (Cr2O3), triggering a succession of reactions that led to pitting and the formation of craters.