Selective Corrosion Attack at Brazed Joints
Persistent leakage was experienced from copper tube heaters which formed part of dairy equipment. Metallurgical examination of the brazed joints showed them to have suffered a preferential corrosion attack. This resulted in the phosphide phase of the brazing alloy being corroded away, leaving a weak, porous residual structure. The brazing alloy was of type CP 1 as covered by BS 1845. Header and tube materials were basically copper-nickel alloys for which the use of a phosphorus bearing brazing alloy is not recommended owing to the possibility of forming the brittle intermetallic compound, nickel phosphide. The use of a brazing alloy containing phosphorus was unsuitable on two counts and a quaternary alloy containing silver, copper, cadmium and zinc, such as those in group AG1 or AG2 of BS 1845 would be more suitable. However, because corrosive problems experienced in these units indicated severe service conditions, a proprietary alloy similar to AG1, but containing 3% nickel, was recommended.