Field measurements of the steamside oxide thickness for high temperature (> 850F) boiler tubing subject to the accumulation of creep damage often are made to support deterministic assessments of the remaining life. Most often, these inspections are undertaken to understand the condition of the tubing at some particular location along a circuit, often as a result of a tube failure. The life assessment is based on relationships that have been developed between oxide growth kinetics and temperature. Unfortunately, because of variability in the oxide-temperature relationships reflecting different original data sets, and because of the inherent uncertainty in materials properties where heat-specific test data is not available, there typically exists a broad range of uncertainty in the deterministic assessment results. Large utility-type boilers typically contain a number of high temperature sections, including various stages of superheat and reheat, each of which will contain miles of tubing. Since the temperature derived from an oxide thickness measurement is relevant only to the specific location where the measurement was made, the deterministically derived life calculation is also specific to that location. As a result, the attempt to draw conclusions regarding the condition of an entire superheater or reheater section from measurements made at only one or two locations in those sections is fraught with difficulties. It is for this reason that the Probabilistic Gas Touched Length Analysis model has been developed. This model makes it possible to calculate creep damage accumulation/remaining life at any point along the steam path. Oxide thickness data and operating data are the primary operating inputs into the model, which performs heat transfer calculations at user-defined locations along the length of the tube circuit. The model applies statistical methods to evaluate variations in operating conditions as well as in physical and mechanical properties using a Monte Carlo simulation to generate values for the probability of failure at selected locations. This paper will discuss the limitations of the existing approach to estimating the remaining life of high temperature boiler tubing and present the underpinning theory of the gas touched length analysis model. A case study showing the analysis results is included.

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