Extend boiler tube life

Extend boiler tube life with laser metal deposition

One of the harshest operating environments in the power generation industry is within the boilers at waste-to-energy (WTE) facilities.  Between high temperatures, high pressure, and fuel that is highly corrosive and erosive, WTE boiler components like superheater tubes and platens need to be replaced regularly – at a significant cost for the energy producer.

The conventional solution for minimizing erosion and corrosion on boiler components is to use an overlaying alloy of Inconel 625.  While Inconel can be effective, one of our customers found that it fell short of their desired component lifetime performance goals.  Their typical superheater lifespan was 16-24 months, at which point they were replacing the entire primary and secondary superheater at significant cost.

Working together, we developed a solution using the laser metal deposition (LMD) process along with a powdered alloy that improved both corrosion and wear-resistance. The result? Five years later, these tubes are still in operation.

In addition to extending the life expectancy of boiler tubes, the laser metal deposition process resulted in improved thermal efficiencies, reduced maintenance costs, and production costs per linear foot that were equal to or less than traditional Inconel 625 overlays.

These results have applications in other industries that burn harsh fuels, including the biomass and pulp & paper industries. To learn more about this project, download our case study or contact us to talk to an expert.