A severe leak occurred on the heat-exchanger tubes of a reboiler after approximately 9-month operation in the waste water stripping tower of a petrochemical plant. Failure analyses were carried out through the morphology observation and the chemical composition analysis of the corrosion products and water sample with optical microscopy, scanning electron microscopy, and X-ray diffraction techniques. The results reveal that the main compositions of the corrosion products are iron oxide, small amount of iron hydroxide, and iron silicate. Moreover, wall thinning and perforation obviously originated from the outer surface of the tube. Chloride ions play a catalysis role in accelerating the electrochemical corrosion. Some suggestions are proposed to alleviate and prevent the corrosion.
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This work was supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (No. 51131008).
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