An Unusual Defect in a Superheater Tube
An unusual type of defect was discovered during hydraulic testing of a water-tube boiler after repairs to the superheater tubes following erosion from soot-blowers. When the pressure reached 700 psi, slight leakage was found to be taking place from one of the superheater tubes in a region where there appeared to be a split, approximately 8 in. long. What was thought to be a split was actually a pronounced fold. Microscopic examination showed that a corrosion-fatigue fissure had developed from one of the inside corners of the fold, presumably as a result of the fluctuating bending stresses to which this portion of the tube would be subjected because of the discontinuity in the tube wall. It was from this fissure that the leakage occurred. It was evident that the defect developed during the manufacture of the tube, probably in the course of a drawing or rolling operation without an internal plug. The diam of this portion of the tube was reduced by local collapse and folding of the section rather than by longitudinal extension of the tube itself.