Failure analysis of a copper tube in an industrial refrigeration unit: a case history

Failure analysis of a copper tube in an industrial refrigeration unit: a case history Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to identify a failure mechanism of an industrial tube and recommend corrective actions to improve the reliability of the entire unit. Design/methodology/approach – Metallurgical failure investigation process included mainly stereo‐, light optical microscopy and scanning electron microscopy (SEM) as the main analytical tools for material characterization and root cause analysis. Findings – The investigation findings, obtained by fractographic and metallographic evaluation, suggest strongly that the failure was caused by the operation of low cycle fatigue (LCF) mechanism initiated from the inner side and propagated towards the outer tube surface, assisted by the superposition of applied and residual stress fields. Originality/value – This paper deals with an industrial case history, providing the findings of failure investigation of a compact refrigeration system, presented principally from structural material/component standpoint and highlighting recommendations for improvement and failure prevention. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png International Journal of Structural Integrity Emerald Publishing

Failure analysis of a copper tube in an industrial refrigeration unit: a case history

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Publisher
Emerald Publishing
Copyright
Copyright © 2013 Emerald Group Publishing Limited. All rights reserved.
ISSN
1757-9864
DOI
10.1108/17579861311303627
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to identify a failure mechanism of an industrial tube and recommend corrective actions to improve the reliability of the entire unit. Design/methodology/approach – Metallurgical failure investigation process included mainly stereo‐, light optical microscopy and scanning electron microscopy (SEM) as the main analytical tools for material characterization and root cause analysis. Findings – The investigation findings, obtained by fractographic and metallographic evaluation, suggest strongly that the failure was caused by the operation of low cycle fatigue (LCF) mechanism initiated from the inner side and propagated towards the outer tube surface, assisted by the superposition of applied and residual stress fields. Originality/value – This paper deals with an industrial case history, providing the findings of failure investigation of a compact refrigeration system, presented principally from structural material/component standpoint and highlighting recommendations for improvement and failure prevention.

Journal

International Journal of Structural IntegrityEmerald Publishing

Published: Mar 1, 2013

Keywords: Cooling equipment; Metals; Copper; Fatigue; Fractography; Copper tube

References

  • Failure analysis of a hard drawn water tube leakage caused by the synergistic actions of pitting corrosion and stress‐corrosion cracking
    Pantazopoulos, G.; Vazdirvanidis, A.; Tsinopoulos, G.

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