Oxidized Recuperator Pipes
High-chromium steel pipes 42.25 x 3.25 mm from a blast furnace gas fired recuperator for the preheating of air were heavily oxidized and perforated in places. It was found that the blast furnace gas had a high sulfur content. Both the carburization and the formation of sulfide proved that in addition, from time to time at least, combustion was incomplete and the operation was carried out in a reducing atmosphere, with the result that oxygen deficiency prevented the formation or maintenance of a protective surface layer on the external surface of the pipes. The sulfur would probably not have damaged the nickel-free steel used here at the given temperatures if it had been present as sulfur dioxide in an oxidizing atmosphere. The damage was therefore caused primarily by an incorrectly conducted combustion process.