Failure in Superheater Tube

Superheater tube is one of parts in steam boiler. Superheater is used to heat saturated steam from steam drum to be superheated steam. Failure in superheater tubes is rarely caused by corrosion except the condition of steam boiler is being maintaining or stands by in long term. Failure in superheater tubes is often occurs because of overheating either short term overheating or long term overheating.

Overheating is caused by attached deposit in internal tubes which is carried over by flow of bad quality steam which bring suspended solid or dissolved solid (hardness). The hardness can be carried over with steam because separation process of steam-water mixture can not executed perfectly in steam drum. Deposit can be removed by adding chemical injection (phosphate) in steam drum to make hardness be soluble then the next step is discharge it through blowdown process.

Failure in superheater tubes may also occur during bad start up process. If combustion temperature is increased rapidly without doing water and steam balance flow, the superheater will feel overheating in short term because there is not steam flow which has function as cooler. Steam flow through superheater tubes act as cooler because temperature of steam is lower than temperature radiant combustion. So start up procedure shall be established to perform good combustion.

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