Rupture of Chromium-Molybdenum Steel Superheater Tubes Because of Overheating
The tubes of a stationary industrial boiler, 64 mm in diam and made of 1.25Cr-0.5Mo steel (ASME SA-213, grade T-11) failed by two different types of rupture. Noticeable swelling of the tubes in the area of rupture was revealed by visual examination. The tubes with slight longitudinal splits were interpreted to have failed by stress rupture resulting from prolonged overheating at 540 to 650 deg C as the microstructure exhibited extensive spheroidization and coalescence of carbides. The larger ruptures were tensile failures that resulted from rapid overheating to 815 to 870 deg C as a completely martensitic structure was revealed at the edges of the ruptures in these tubes because of rapid quenching by escaping fluid. The prolonged-overheating failures were concluded to have been the primary ruptures and that local loss of circulation had caused rapid overheating in adjacent tubes. Poor boiler circulation and high furnace temperatures were believed to have caused the prolonged overheating.