Corrosion-related failures in heat exchangers

Publication Name

Corrosion Reviews


Corrosion is the primary cause of failure of heat exchangers in industry, especially in the oil and petrochemical sector. The modes of failure related to corrosion include erosion corrosion, pitting corrosion, crevice corrosion, grain boundary corrosion, dealloying, galvanic corrosion, stress corrosion cracking, waterside corrosion, uniform corrosion, and microbially induced corrosion. Primary causes of corrosion-related failures were found to be fabrication and welding defects, presence of residual stresses, inappropriate materials selection and design, improper water chemistry/flow and poor choice of filters, presence of corrosive species such Cl-, Sx-, O2, NH4+ in water, nonadherence to recommended operating conditions, and noncompliance with standard practices during the shutdown. This article is a review covering only corrosion-related failures in heat exchangers.

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