Heat Exchanger Failures in Waste Heat Steam Generation Systems

January 18, 2021

Author: Edward S. Beardwood, International Water Conference 2017, Paper No. IWC 17-03, Engineers’ Society of Western Pennsylvania,

ABSTRACT: Steam generator failures occur for a variety of reasons, and sometimes the root cause(s) are misdiagnosed, leading to re-occurrence of the failures. Tube failures are not necessarily required to impact the degradation of system performance. The following two case histories associated with waste heat boilers will illustrate that the actual root cause failures bear no resemblance to the perceived mechanisms initially proposed. A comprehensive, detailed review of operational conditions compared to design criteria must be undertaken. This, in conjunction with a thorough metallurgical examination and complete deposit analysis is critical to understanding the failure mechanism(s) and arriving at the path forward. Failure cause, validation of remedies provided and key operating indicators set up to detect future performance degradation and return to “at risk state” will also be discussed.