A cracked, martensitic stainless steel, low-pressure turbine blade from a 623 MW turbine generator was found to exhibit fatigue cracks during a routine turbine inspection. The blade was cracked at the first notch of the fir tree and the cracks initiated at pits induced by chloride attack. Examination of the blade microstructure at the fracture origins revealed oxide-filled pits and transgranular cracks. The oxide filled cracks appeared to have originated at small surface pits and probably propagated in a fatigue or corrosion-fatigue fracture mode. It was recommended that the sources of the chlorides be eliminated and that the remaining blades be inspected at regular maintenance intervals for evidence of cracking.
A low-carbon steel (St35.8) tube in a phthalic anhydride reactor system failed. Visual and stereomicroscopic examination of fracture surfaces revealed heavy oxide/deposits on the outer surface of the tube, tube wall thinning in the area of the fracture, and discolorations and oxides/deposits on the inner surface. Cross sections from the fracture surface were metallographically examined, and the deposits were analyzed. It was determined that the tube had thinned from the inner surface because of a localized overheating condition (probably resulting from a runaway chemical reaction within the tube) and then fractured, which allowed molten salt to flow into the tube.