Journal of Failure Analysis and Prevention

, Volume 7, Issue 5, pp 361–370 | Cite as

Stress Assisted Corrosion of Waterwall Tubes in Recovery Boiler Tubes: Failure Analysis

  • Preet M. Singh
  • Jamshad Mahmood
Peer Reviewed


Waterside cracking of carbon-steel boiler tubes is one of the major safety and efficiency concerns in kraft recovery boilers in the pulp and paper industry, because any water leak into the furnace could cause a smelt-water explosion in the boiler. Failed carbon-steel boiler tubes from different kraft recovery boilers were examined to understand the role of carbon-steel microstructure on crack initiation and crack morphology. A number of carbon-steel tubes showed a deep decarburized layer on the inner surface (water-touched) and also an unusually large grain size at the inner tube surface. In some boiler tubes, cracks were found to initiate in areas with large-grained-decarburized microstructure. However, tubes without such microstructure were also found to have stress assisted corrosion (SAC) cracks. It was found that the decarburization and large grained microstructure may facilitate initiation and growth, but it is not necessary for SAC of carbon-steel boiler tubes.


boiler material corrosion fatigue stress corrosion cracking steel metallography 



The authors wish to express special thanks to Department of Energy for funding this work (DE-FC07-01ID14243). We thank member companies of IPST at Georgia Tech. for part of financial support. Authors would like to thank Dr. S. J. Pawel and Dr. J. R. Keiser for their technical discussions.


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Copyright information

© ASM International 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of Materials Science and EngineeringGeorgia Institute of TechnologyAtlantaUSA

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