Corrosion failure occurred in a titanium clad tubesheet because of a corrosive tube-side gas-liquid mixture leaking through fatigue cracks in the seal welds at tube-to-tubesheet joints. The tubesheet was a carbon steel plate clad with titanium on the tube side face. The seal weld cracks were initiated by cyclic stress imposed by exchanger tubes. The gas-liquid mixture passed through cracks under tube-side pressure, resulting in severe corrosion of the steel backing plate. The failure started with the loosening of the expanded tube-to-tubesheet joints. Loose joints allowed the exchanger tubes to impose load on seal welds and the shell side cooling water entered the crevice between the tubesheet and the tubes. The cooling water in the crevice caused galvanic reaction and embrittlement of seal welds. Brittle crack opening and crack propagation in seal welds occurred due to the cyclic stress imposed by the tubes. The cyclic stress arised from the thermal cycling of the heat exchanger. The possible effects of material properties on the failure of the tubesheet are discussed.
C. H. Hsu, The Failure of Titanium Clad Tube Sheet in Heat Exchanger by Fatigue Cracking and Corrosion, ASM Failure Analysis Case Histories: Chemical Processing Equipment, ASM International, 2019, https://doi.org/10.31399/asm.fach.chem.c9001570
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