Rupture of Low-Carbon Steel Boiler Tubes Because of Severe Overheating
The center portions of two adjacent low-carbon steel boiler tubes (made to ASME SA-192 specifications) ruptured during a start-up period after seven months in service. It was indicated by reports that there had been sufficient water in the boiler two hours before start-up. The microstructure near the rupture edge was revealed by metallographic examination to consist of ferrite and acicular martensite or bainite. The microstructure and the observed lack of cold work indicated a temperature above the transformation temperature of 727 deg C had been reached. Swelling of the tubes was disclosed by the wall thickness and OD of the tubing. The tubes were concluded to have failed due to rapid overheating.