Journal of Failure Analysis and Prevention

, Volume 15, Issue 2, pp 184–189 | Cite as

Failure Investigation of a Final Super Heater Tube in a 140 MW Thermal Power Plant

  • Atanu Saha
  • H. Roy
  • A. K. Shukla
Case History---Peer-Reviewed


This article describes the findings of a detailed investigation into the failure of a final super heater tube in a 140 MW thermal power plant. Preliminary macroscopic examinations along with visual examination, dimensional measurement, chemical analysis, evaluation of mechanical properties, and oxide scale thickness measurement were carried out to deduce the probable cause of failure. In addition, optical microscopy was a necessary supplement to understand the cause of failure. It was concluded that the tube had failed due to stress rupture. The tube metal had been exposed to a temperature above the safe operating limit for a long duration. As a result the tube metal had lost its strength, suffered creep deformation and failed to support the working stress resulting in final rupture. The adherent scale, particularly on internal surface formed due to exposure at high temperature. It had acted as an insulating blanket in view of its much lower thermal conductivity than that of the tube metal. The progressive build-up of scale had greatly affected heat transfer and raised the tube metal temperature above A1 for a short duration before bursting of the tube. The overheating in this case may be due to poor circulation over the localized area.


Super heater Stress rupture Deformation Failure 


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© ASM International 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.NDT and Metallurgy GroupCSIR - Central Mechanical Engineering Research InstituteDurgapurIndia

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