Failure of Three Wrought Heat-Resisting Alloy Salt Pots
Over a period of about one year, three RA 330 alloy salt pots from a single heat-treating plant were submitted to failure analysis. All of the pots, which had 9.5 mm thick walls, were used primarily to contain neutral salts at temperatures from about 815 to 900 deg C (1500 to 1650 deg F). However, some cyaniding was also performed in these pots, which, when not in use, were idled at 760 deg C (1400 deg F). It was reported that sludge was removed from the bottom of the pots once a day. Normal pot life varied from about 6 to 20 months. The pots were removed from the furnace, visually inspected, and rotated 120 deg every three weeks to ensure that no single location was overheated for a prolonged period of time. Analysis (visual inspection, chemical analysis, metallographic examination, and x-ray analysis, 60x micrograph etched with 10% oxalic acid) supported the conclusion that the cause of failure of each of the three salt pots was severe intergranular corrosion accompanied by substantial chromium depletion. No recommendations were made.