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Abstract

In a copper hot water system, a bent pipe was soldered into a straight pipe with twice the diameter. The neighborhood of the soldered joint was covered with corrosion product predominantly blue-green in color, presumably carbonates. When these corrosion products were scratched off it was seen that the copper beneath this layer had not suffered noticeable attack. The object of the examination was the localized deep cavities located almost symmetrically to both sides of the inserted end of the narrower tube on the internal wall of the wider tube which had in one place been eaten right through. The symmetrical location on each side of the point of insertion of the narrower pipe and the localized sharp delineation of the attack indicated erosion due to the formation of turbulence. By avoiding sharp transitions and abrupt changes in cross section it is possible to design the pipe work so that localized turbulence is obviated. Degassing and cleansing of the water also would reduce the danger of erosion particularly in the case of softened water, which takes up oxygen and carbon dioxide very readily thus becoming particularly aggressive.

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Egon Kauczor, 2019. "Damaged Copper Hot Water Pipe", ASM Failure Analysis Case Histories: Steelmaking and Thermal Processing Equipment

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