Boiler Tubing – Corrosion Fatigue Failures

2-27-2014 3-01-03 PM

Boiler Tubing – Corrosion Fatigue Failures

Thielsch Engineering has provided a summary document on the power /paper industries approach in managing corrosion fatigue cracking within the water circuit tubing of high pressure boilers which include our own experiences within these industries as it relates to this failure mechanism.

Leak type failures of water circuit tubing resulting from corrosion fatigue can be expected in boilers; historically, the power and paper industries had recognized this condition as an availability issue not a safety issue. However, that has changed since the late 1990’s.

Since 1999, Thielsch Engineering has been involved in the failure analysis and inspection of several catastrophic failures of water circuit tubing resulting from corrosion fatigue. Three (3) of these instances had resulted in significant injury and death to plant and contractor personnel. In the preceding twenty years of business Thielsch Engineering had no similar catastrophic assignments. This increase is directly related to the power industries trend towards more cyclic and peaking operation of their aging boilers to meet new market demands.

The thermal swings associated with the increased cyclic/peaking operation is the primary driver for the fatigue element of “corrosion fatigue” failures. Click here to read the full Technical Bulletin. For more information on corrosion fatigue failures contact Pamela Hamblin-Smoske at (561) 353-5804 or email her at