News & Views, Volume 46 | Metallurgical Lab Featured Damage Mechanism: Waterwall Fireside Corrosion (WFSC) in Conventional Boilers
By: Wendy Weiss
Industry experience shows that waterwall tubing in conventional boilers can be susceptible to fireside corrosion, depending on fuel type, firing practice, etc. In boilers where fireside corrosion has been identified as a maintenance issue, wastage rates of 5 to 25 mils/year are not uncommon. Since the mid 1990s, the installation of low NOx burner systems designed to lower NOx emissions has significantly increased the wastage rates in some boilers. Operators of subcritical boilers have reported wastage rates as high as 30 mils/year, while those operating supercritical boilers have reported rates exceeding 100 mils/year in the worst cases. These higher damage rates have resulted in an increase in tube failures, and operators have struggled to accurately define the extent of the damage and install the appropriate mitigating technologies.