Practical Failure Analysis

, Volume 3, Issue 5, pp 81–88 | Cite as

Water chemistry and processing effects on the corrosion degradation of copper tubing in cooling water systems

  • J. L. McDougall
  • L. McCall
  • M. E. Stevenson
Peer Reviewed Articles


Specimens of copper tubing from an industrial scale chiller were subjected to a complete corrosion failure analysis. Nondestructive inspection of the tubing indicated substantial corrosion damage and provided the impetus for the corrosion analysis. By application of the typical methods encountered in metallurgical failure investigations, as well as additional chemical analysis techniques, the most probable cause of failure was identified to be a change in the water chemistry during the service life of the tubes. Additional items that may have contributed to the failure include the geometric design of the tube and the post-manufacture cleaning process prior to service. Recommendations were made regarding water treatment and the requirements for any replacement tubes. In addition to discussion of the specific failure(s) investigated, notes regarding the general procedures for corrosion failure analysis are also presented.


copper corrosion corrosion failure analysis procedures water chemistry 


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Copyright information

© ASM International - The Materials Information Society 2003

Authors and Affiliations

  • J. L. McDougall
    • 1
  • L. McCall
    • 1
  • M. E. Stevenson
    • 1
  1. 1.Metals & Materials Engineers, LLCSuwanee

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