Comprehensive investigation of the metal in drums of boilers at thermal power stations
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A comparative investigation of the metal of drums of two TP-100 boilers at the Starobeshevskaya and the Lugansk thermal power stations (TPS) was performed. Their operation time was approximately 300000 hours; the shell of one drum was ruptured during a hydraulic test, and the other drum is in operation. According to the results of the technical diagnostics and a strength analysis, both drums comply with the applicable regulatory requirements. The objects of the investigation were fragments of the ruptured drum and a “plug” cut out of the shell during a scheduled inspection. The investigation was carried out by microscopic metallography methods and the scanning electron microscopy technique. Mechanical tests of metal specimens were performed, and the hydrogen content in these specimens was measured. Prior to the material research, the metal was examined using a magnetic memory method. The investigation yielded specifics of the metal microstructure, mechanical properties, and fracture patterns of the metal specimens at various temperatures. An investigation performed by the method of thermal-desorption mass spectrometry revealed no considerable difference in the hydrogen content in the metal of both drums, thereby excluding the effect of hydrogenation in analyzing the rupture causes. It was established that the drum at the Starоbeshevskaya TPS had been damaged due to its low impact strength at room temperature and high brittle-ductile transition point. Comparison of the metallographic study data with the results obtained using the magnetic memory method suggests that the fracture was caused by local formation of the Widmannstatten pattern at points where accessories are welded to the shell. The prospects are demonstrated of the comprehensive approach to nondestructive examination (NDE) of TPS drums using the magnetic memory technique and metallographic methods.
Keywordsboiler drum nondestructive examination metal diagnostics metal magnetic memory method Widmannstatten pattern
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