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Turbine buckets in a 37.5-MW gas turbine made of Udimet 500 superalloy failed in service. The power plant was located 1 km (0.6 miles) from the Pacific Ocean and operated on No. 2 diesel fuel, which was supplied by tanker ship. Turbine bucket failures occurred on three units after 2500 to 6400 h of operation. Investigation (visual inspection, metallographic examination, and stress analysis) supported the conclusion that the differing microstructure of the airfoil resulted in changes in mechanical properties. Because normal operation includes cycling of loads and temperatures, the shroud tip fractured due to thermomechanical fatigue in its degraded...

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