Failure Analysis Case History No. 015

Industry: Cement Manufacturing Plant
Specimen Description: 310SS Refractory Anchors
Material: 310 Stainless Steel
Environment: High-Temperature Flue Gases
Type 310SS refractory anchors were failing due to complete fracture, resulting in loss of refractory insulation in a cement kiln.
Time in Service: Unknown
As-received 310SS refractory anchors were grayish and scaley but otherwise showed no significant surface scale resulting from the high temperature service. The anchor fractures were brittle appearing with no macroscopic ductility. Metallographic examination of the anchor fractures revealed intergranular fracture, intergranular cracking and grain dropping, suggestive of polythionic acid stress corrosion cracking (PASCC) from exposure to a condensed aqueous phase containing oxygenated sulfur compounds. The PASCC suggested that the anchors were cracking during downtimes. No significant oxidation or subsurface sulfidation was observed.


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