The erosion-corrosion (E-C) metal wastage mechanisms and rates that occur in 1018 plain carbon steel used in tubular heat exchangers of fluid bed combustors (FBC) are discussed. The characteristics of FBC bed material erodent particles such as composition, shape, size and strength were found to have a major effect on the surface degradation mechanisms and rates which occurred. A total of sixteen different bed material particles from ten different FBCs were tested. It was determined that when the particles were strong enough to not shatter when they impacted the steel’s surface, their shape and composition were the most important factors in determining their erosivity.

The relative amounts of SiO2, CaO, CaCO3, CaSO4, and alkali compounds in the bed materials were related to the metal wastage by using laboratory mixtures of the compounds as erodents. The ratio of SiO2 to CaO and CaCO3 was especially important in determining the erosivity of the bed materials. It was found that increasing this ratio increased the metal wastage. A sharp transition ratio occurred on either side of which the metal wastages were linear. The slope of the linear curve was low for the lower sand content mixtures and higher for higher sand content mixtures. The transition ratio required a higher CaO content for higher velocity particles.

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