Recent Completed Project on ‘Investigation of Cracking Damage to a Gas Turbine Compressor Blade’ for a European Power Plant

During a recent outage, the gas turbine inspectors noticed cracking damage in one of their compressor blades. ETD was requested to or carry out an investigation of cracking damage to this GT compressor blade.

ETD was supplied by the client with one failed compressor blade (cracked) and one compressor blade (un-cracked).

ETD carried out the following work:

  • Visual / macroscopic examination of the general surface condition and the cracking damage on the blade samples, including the recording of the blade dimensions;
  • Microscopic examination of the general surface condition and the cracking damage in the blade sample.  Metallographic sections were prepared, in order to examine the extent of cracking in the damaged areas, as well as the condition of the un-cracked blade to help identify the damage mechanism e.g. fatigue, corrosion, impingement damage etc.;
  • Chemical analysis of deposits evident near the fracture surfaces – Energy Dispersive X-Ray (EDX) analysis of deposits was carried out in a Scanning Electron Microscope (SEM). 
  • Analysis of the base material chemical composition for the compressor blade samples, to determine theactual material constituents;
  • Fractographic analysis of the fracture surfaces to identify the damage mechanism, using SEM (Scanning Electron Microscope) coupled with findings of visual examination, optical microscopy and chemical analysis;
  • Hardness testing to check the mechanical condition of the compressor blade material;
  • Identification of potential causes of the damage and the source of any contaminants that may have contributed to the damage;
  • Estimation of the remaining life for the un-cracked blade, using fatigue life assessment according to EN12952 standard. Observations from the other analyses was used to assess the blade material condition and to refine the life assessment results.
  • A report was submitted to the client based on the investigation of the cracking damage with photo documentation, including (i) analysis of the risk of continuing to run the GT, and (ii) recommendations for remedial actions to avoid or minimize the risk of damage recurrence to the GT units.

ETD has extensive knowledge and experience of damage mechanisms and failure root cause analysis of components operating in power plants. For more information about ETD’s Failure Analysis services, please click here.

Recent Completed Project on ‘Root Cause Failure Analysis of a Broken Shaft’

ETD was requested to provide a quotation to perform Root Cause Failure Analysis (RCA) of a broken shaft from a shiploader for a Middle Eastern Power Plant..

The scope of the work carried out included:

  • Visual and dimensional examination of the failed sample including surface appearance;
  • Chemical analysis of base material to determine the chemical composition of the sample material to establish actual material constituents;
  • Metallographic examination of the sample using optical microscopy to assess the condition of material degradation and also to identify the damage mechanism(s);
  • Fractographic examination of the sample using SEM (Scanning Electron Microscope) for the detailed assessment of damaged surface;
  • Hardness testing and evaluation to determine the equivalent tensile strength values (using published hardness/UTS correlation tables) to assess the mechanical strength of the sample materials;
  • Basic review of design drawings, operating parameters, previous failure and maintenance history.
  • Root Cause Failure Analysis (RCA) based on the findings of above investigations.
  • Report covering results of investigations, RCA results and recommendations for any further actions to be taken for safe operation of the component.

For more information about ETD’s Failure Analysis services, please click here.

Recent Completed Projects on ‘Failure Analysis of HRSG High Temperature Superheater (HPHTSH) and Reheater Outlet Header Tubes’

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Following the client’s recent tube failures close to tube-to-header connections in their High Pressure High Temperature Superheater (HPHTSH) Outlet Header, ETD were invited to submit a proposal to carry out failure analysis of T91 tube samples removed from the failed area for a European Power Plant. The work involved performing tube failure analysis study based on laboratory testing and assessment of two removed tube samples.

The scope of the work carried out included:

  • Visual and dimensional examination of the tube samples, including examination of the failure/damage location appearance and condition of internal and external tube surfaces and any deposits;
  • Metallographic examination of the tube samples to assess the condition of the microstructure and to identify the damage/failure mechanism(s);
  • Hardness testing and evaluation to determine the equivalent tensile strength values (using published hardness/UTS correlation tables) to assess the mechanical strength or softening of the tube materials;
  • Chemical analysis of tube material to determine the chemical composition of the tube material to establish actual material constituents;
  • Estimation of tube operating temperature based on measurements of steam-side oxide thickness, and evaluation of remaining creep life;
  • Review of design drawings, operating parameters, previous failure and maintenance history;
  • Root Cause Failure Analysis (RCA) based on the findings of above investigations;
  • Report covering results of investigations, failure analysis & recommendations for remedial actions to prevent repeat tube failures.

This work was carried out to the satisfaction of the customer.

For more information about ETD’s Failure Analysis services, please click here.

Root Cause Failure Analysis and Remaining Life Assessment of CO Reformer Tubes

ETD carried out Root Cause Failure Analysis and Remaining Life Assessment of CO Reformer Tubes for a Petrochemical Plant. It is reported that the failures occured at catalyst tubes and flexi tubes of the CO reformer section.

The scope of work carried out included:

  • Visual examination of all tube samples including internal deposit and external appearance;
  • Assessment of condition of the tubes inner & outer surfaces and bulged areas;
  • Dimensional examination of the tube samples to examine diameter growth;
  • Chemical analysis of base material to determine the chemical composition of the tube material to establish actual material constituents;
  • Metallographic examination of the tube samples using optical microscopy to assess the condition of internal and external surfaces and also to identify the damage mechanism(s) (i.e. creep, carburization, localized heating or others);
  • Metallographic examination of two tube samples (two worse tubes will be selected based on visual examination) using SEM (Scanning Electron Microscope) to confirm the damage mechanism(s);
  • Mechanical testing (Hardness & Tensile testing) and evaluation to determine the equivalent tensile strength values (using published hardness/UTS correlation tables) to assess the mechanical strength or softening of the tube materials or welds;
  • Basic review of design drawings, operating parameters, previous failure and maintenance history.
  • Root Cause Failure Analysis (RCA) based on the findings of above investigations.
  • Measurements of the thickness of tube internal oxide/scale to determine the actual operating temperature;
  • Assessment of tube remaining life based on the estimation of actual tube operating temperature and the data from published literature;
  • A report covering results of investigations, RCA & RLA analysis and recommendations for any further actions to be taken for safe operation of the components.

For more information about our Failure Analysis & Remaining Life Assessment services, please click here.

Failure Investigation and Root Cause Analysis (RCA) of a Gas Turbine

ETD recently completed a project on Failure Investigation and Root Cause Analysis (RCA) of a Gas Turbine for a Middle Eastern Power Plant.

The client urgently decided to replace the damaged GT compressor parts. During disassembly of the GT compressor casing, further, similar damage was observed at other compressor rotor stages and to the stator vanes.

ETD were requested to provide a quotation to perform complete Failure Investigation and Root Cause Analysis (RCA) for the above damaged parts, which have been removed from a Gas Turbine.

The scope of the work carried out included:

  • Applying appropriate tools and methodologies to determine the root cause of the failures/ damages.
  • Detailed analysis and discussion of the failure investigation & RCA findings.
  • Conclusions and recommendations based on the findings of the above investigation.
  • A report of the RCA study results to include recommendations for any mitigating actions to be taken by the plant operator for continued operation of their GTs.

For more information about ETD’s Failure Analysis services, please click here.

Investigation of Pitting Damage to Compressor Vanes of 13E2 Gas Turbines

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ETD recently completed a project on Investigation of Pitting Damage to Compressor Vanes of 13E2 Gas Turbines.

The following samples were supplied by the client for analysis by ETD:

  • Two compressor vanes stage 5 (with pits);
  • Particle samples collected from the GT compressor inlet.

The study included:

  • Visual / macroscopic examination of the general surface condition and the pitting damage on the samples;
  • Microscopic examination of the general surface condition and the pitting damage on the samples.  Metallographic sections of the damaged areas were prepared in order to examine the size, shape and roughness of the pits, which helped to differentiate between corrosion pitting and impingement damage;
  • Chemical analysis of deposits on the component surfaces and inside the pits – Energy Dispersive X-Ray (EDX) analysis of deposits was carried out in a Scanning Electron Microscope (SEM).  This analysis confirmed the presence of any corrosive contaminants such as chlorine and sulphur;
  • Chemical analysis of particle samples collected from the GT compressor inlet;
  • Identification of the damage mechanism (pitting corrosion or solid or liquid impingement damage) based upon the findings of visual examination, microscopy and chemical analysis;
  • Hardness testing to check the mechanical condition of the vane components;
  • Identification of potential causes of the damage and, if possible, the source of contaminants that have contributed to the damage;
  • A report on the investigation of pitting damage, including (i) analysis of the risk of continuing to run the GT with the observed level of pitting damage on the vanes, and (ii) recommendations for remedial actions that may be possible to avoid or minimize the risk of pitting damage to the GT units.

For more information on ETD’s Failure Analysis services, please click here.

Completed Root Cause Cracking Analysis of Methanol Reformer Pigtails Project

ETD Consulting is pleased to announce that it has just completed a project on the Root Cause Analysis (RCA) and life assessment of methanol reformer pigtails at a chemical plant in the Middle East.

ETD had been requested to perform Root Cause Analysis and life assessment for 10 methanol reformer pigtail parts. The methanol reformer pigtails were in service since 2013. Cracks were observed on some of the pigtails’ external surface and therefore, the client expressed interest to perform RCA for these pigtails to determine the root causes of these cracks. The pigtails are operating under high temperature condition and made of nickel-chromium alloy.

The scope of the work to be carried out was: 

  • Visual and dimensional examination of the pigtail samples including internal and external appearance;
  • Assessment of condition of the internal and external surface including identification of inclusions/ contaminations, welding defects etc (if any existed);
  • Chemical analysis of base material to determine the chemical composition of the pigtail parts material to establish actual material constituents;
  • Metallographic examination of the pigtail samples using optical microscopy (if necessary using Scanning Electron Microscope (SEM)) to assess the condition of the internal and external surfaces, to identify phase changes in microstructure / material degradation and precipitations and also to identify the damage mechanism(s);
  • Tensile testing and Hardness testing and evaluation to determine the equivalent tensile strength values (using published hardness/ UTS correlation tables) to assess the mechanical strength or softening of the pigtail materials or welds;
  • Review of design drawings, design & operating parameters, previous failure and maintenance history.
  • Detailed RCA and life assessment based on the findings of above investigations to determine the root cause(s) of damages/ cracks.
  • Report covering results of investigation, root cause analysis & recommendations for any further actions to be taken by the client for safe operation of the components.

The work was completed successfully in February 2016. 

ETD has established expertise in the failure analysis of the components for power plant boilers and turbines and process industry. For more information about our failure analysis services please click here.

Completed Project on Pipe Bend Studies for a Process Plant in Africa

ETD have successfully completed a project on ‘Accelerated Rupture Testing and Integrity/Life Assessment of Carbon Steel Pipe Bends’.

The objective of the proposed work was to establish the remaining life of the cold formed bend material, with study of material samples to be taken from different sections of pipe, comparing the properties of material at: the intrados, the neutral axis and the extrados.

ETD has extensive expertise in cold formed pipe bends, and Dr. A. Shibli has worked for many years in this area and published reports and papers on the subject.For more information about our life assessment services please click here.

ETD Providing Services in Saudi Arabia

ETD Consulting is proud to announce the recent collaboration with Axis Metallurgy who are based in Saudi Arabia.

Through Axis, ETD now provides services to groups in Saudi Arabia & the Middle East in: 

  • Root Cause Failure Analysis.
  • Life Assessment.
  • In-situ Metallography.
  • Integrity Scanning Force Microscope (I-SFM).
  • Fitness for Service.
  • Risk Based Inspection.
  • Weld Analysis.
  • Materials Evaluations.
  • Repair/replacement Analysis.
  • and more.

ETD & Axis provide services in the following sectors:

  • Oil & Gas.
  • Petrochemicals.
  • Power Plants.
  • Fertilizers.
  • Refineries.
  • Manufacturing.
  • Construction.
  • Defense.
  • Automobile.

For further information about Axis Metallurgy please click on the image above.


If you are interested in any of this services, please contact us.