Creep Damage in Welds of Reformer Furnace Tubing
A sample tube was removed from a reformer furnace for life assessment after 69,000 h of service. Sections were cut from the tube, which was a spindle cast A297 Grade HK 40 (25 Cr, 20 Ni, 0.4 C) austenitic steel of 122.5 mm OD and 10.5 mm nominal wall thickness. They were examined metallographically on transverse sections and on longitudinal sections through the butt welds joining the separate cast segments of the tube. Creep damage was mainly concentrated within the inner one third of the wall thickness. The use of damage assessment parameters in evaluating the reformer tube remaining life showed the welds to be inadequate, and to have a strength and creep resistance below those of the base metal.