Metallurgical Anatomy of Boiler Tubes and Related Equipment Failures

Metallurgical Anatomy of Boiler Tubes
Related Equipment Failures

28-29 August 2014 


Boiler tube failures are the leading cause of steam plant non-reliability. A tube failure may cause a forced outage, usually at the most inopportune time. The outage results in lost production and lost revenue. A reduction in the frequency of tube failures can be achieved by understanding the root cause of the failure and taking steps to eliminate the problem.

Course Objective

The challenge facing all fossil utilities is to maintain safe and reliable operation while facing a shrinking pool of expertise in the critical technologies. With retirement of fossil plants becoming a rarity, the aging equipment will encounter increasing failure rates unless a concerted effort is made to understand critical failures and react to them appropriately.

The understanding of failures usually involves knowledge spread among several engineering disciplines, and the appropriate linkages and integration must be established in a comprehensive solution.

The goal of this two-day workshop is to provide guidance with a focus on metallurgical and mechanical aspects of the failure.

. Event Highlights:

  ü      Diagnosis of Boiler Tubes Failures.

ü      Practical Identification of Equipment Plant Failures.

ü      Detection of Degradation - Tools for use by engineering personnel.

ü      Practical session on microscope.

  ü      Practical interactive sections with real life case histories. 


Forensic Analysis

 This Forensic Analysis module aims to provide the participants with an understanding to identify the steps necessary in any failure investigation.

ü      What is a Failure?

ü      Reason Failures Occur.

ü      Failure Mechanisms.

ü      What is a Failure Investigation?

ü      Why find the Root Cause?

ü      How to Organize a Failure Investigation.

ü      Gathering Information.

ü      How to Protect and Document the Failure.

ü      Recommendations and Corrective Actions.

ü      “The Dos and the Don’ts”

 Interactive Exercises: Issue of different failure for each delegate.

Replica – Metallography- Interactive

Nondestructive Metallographic: Examination of materials must be frequently performed on-site when the component in question cannot be moved or destructively examined.

 ü      Delegate get the opportunity to evaluate a replica under the microscope removed from plant equipment.


Training Methodology
  • Format 
  • The training methodology is inter-active with numerous  exercises and is suitable for all employees involved in maintenance and operations management  
  • Participants are encouraged to ask questions and comment on topics during the course. Visual aids are used extensively using actual case histories. Emphasis on basic principles and fundamentals. Practical application rather than theory stressed throughout. 
Who Should Attend?
  • Engineering and Technical Professionals from the industry
  • Plant Engineers and Maintenance Professionals
  • Section Engineers and Inspectors.
  • Reliability Professionals

Learning Objectives

  • Upon completion of this course, participants will: Understand damage mechanisms (creep,fatigue,corrosion etc) applicable in all industries and be able to identify their features & functions and making recommendations that will minimize the risk of repeat failures.
Course Materials
  • Comprehensive course documentation is made available after the course which serves as a valuable reference material for future use. The documentation also make any need for note taking minimal, which increases comprehension, understanding, and retention of the material, as delegates are free to concentrate more fully on the presentations and visual aids.


Eric Vreugde  founder of Metserve International a metallurgical consultancy who conduct failure analysis and provide material related solutions to national and international clients since 1980. (Over the last 30 years he has undertaken thousands of failure investigations, for the power ,refining and petrochemical industry)  Areas of technical expertise include failure analysis,  equipment condition assessment and remaining life evaluation for the high temperature components. Mr. Vreugde a metallurgist by profession has published several international papers related to failure investigations and has been a speaker at several national and international professional conferences.

Course Fees:
  • Fee includes Course Materials, Certificate, Refreshments and Lunch. 
  • Accommodation is not included in the Program fee.

  • The course has been awarded  2 CPD points for attendees, who need to gain the points for 2014.
Events Information
  • Event Date: 28 Feb. - 29 August 2014 
  • Event Duration:2 day 
  • Event Time:08h30 to 16h30 daily
  • Event Venue: Indaba Hotel
  • Event Location: Fourways 
  • Event Country:South Africa

Anatomy Boiler Tube Failure Part – 1

The first step in preventing boiler tube failures is to understand why a tube failure occurredWith this information, you can perform pre-emptive repair, replacement, or alter the tube environment.

This module will cover:

 ü      Long Term Overheating.

ü      Spheroidization.

ü      Appearance of Creep Damage.

ü      Dissimilar Metal Weld (DMW) Failure.

ü      Effects of Deposits.

ü      Oxygen Corrosion.

ü      Caustic Related Cracking.

ü      Short Term overheating.

ü      Why Metallurgical Examination.

ü      Boiler Explosion

ü      Summary


Discussion Exercises: Interactive discussion of the case history.

Anatomy Boiler Tube Failure Part 2

This module will cover:

 ü      Flow Accelerated Corrosion (FAC).

ü      Stress Corrosion Cracking.

ü      Hydrogen Damage.

ü      Thermal Fatigue.

ü      Corrosion Fatigue.

ü      Caustic Gouging.

ü      Steam Cutting.

ü      Material Deficiency.

ü      Summary.

ü      What type of Failure?

 Anatomy Boiler Tube Failure Part 3

This module will cover:

 ü      Graphitization.

ü      Steam Blanketing.

ü      Caustic Attack.

ü      Acid Attack.

ü      Metallic Copper Deposits.

ü      Tube Failure Analysis Methodology

Is you boiler a potential Time Bomb?

 Explosions in boilers are not uncommon. Irrespective of the type of fuel being fired, boilers have experienced explosions. This module covered several boiler explosions.

 ü      Water/steam side explosions

ü      Furnace explosions

ü      Anatomy boiler failure


What do we remember? Basic Steel Metallurgy

 This module reviews Basic Steel Metallurgy

 ü      Pig iron production

ü      What is Steel

ü      Classification 

ü      Phases in iron

ü      Transformations

ü      Heat Treatment Terms

ü      Stainless Steels


Final Case Histories Modules including photo micrographs – Interactive

Selections of metallurgical failure analysis cases to illustrate different failure morphology including photo micrographs are distributed among the delegates to be discussed interactive.

Mode of failure and micrograph includes