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Keywords:

  • clogging;
  • erosion;
  • heat exchanger;
  • recirculating cooling water;
  • seawater;
  • titanium tube

Abstract

Serious failure incidents like clogging, quick thinning, and leakage frequently occurred on lots of titanium tubes of heat exchangers in a nuclear power plant in China. In the Part I of the whole failure analysis study with totally two parts, factors mainly involving three kinds of electrochemical corrosions were investigated, including galvanic corrosion, crevice corrosion, and hydrogen-assisted corrosion. In the current Part II, through microscopically analyzing the ruptures on the leaked tubes by scanning electron microscopy (SEM) and energy dispersive spectrometry (EDS), another four causes dominantly lying in the aspect of mechanical degradation were determined – clogging, erosion, mechanical damaging, and fretting. Among them, the erosion effect was the primary one, thus the stresses it exerted on the tube wall were also supplementarily evaluated by finite element method (FEM). Based on the analysis results, the different degradation extents and morphologies by erosion on the tubes when they were clogged by different substances such as seashell, rubber debris, and sediments were compared, and relevant mechanisms were discussed. Finally, countermeasures were put forward as well.