Perforation of a Nickel-Base Alloy Kiln
A kiln, 7.6 m (25 ft) long with a 1 m (3 ft) internal diameter and a 6.3 mm (0.25 in.) wall thickness, is used to regenerate spent charcoal returned by water utilities. This charcoal contains up to 0.57% S and 2.04% Cl. The kiln is made of Inconel 601 (N06601) welded using Inconel 617 (N06617) as a filler alloy. Wet charcoal is fed in at one end of the kiln and travels while being tumbled within the inclined rotating vessel. Temperatures range from 480 deg C (900 deg F) (Zone 1) to 900 deg C (1650 deg F) (Zones 2 and 3). Steam is introduced at the discharge end at 95 g/s (750 lb/h), 34 to 69 kPa (5 to 10 psi), and 125 deg C (260 deg F). The kiln developed perforations within eight months of operation. Investigation (visual inspection, metallurgical analysis, energy-dispersive spectroscopy, and 44X micrographs) supported the conclusion that the sulfur and chlorine in the charcoal attacked the Inconel 601, forming various sulfides and chlorides. Recommendations included on-site testing, and installation of test coupons of various alloys before fabricating another kiln. The suggested alloys were RA85H, 800HT, HR-120, Haynes 556, and HR-160.