Erosion-corrosion failure analysis of the elbow pipe of steam distribution manifold

Rehan Khan, Abdel Hamid I. Mourad, Michał Wieczorowski, Darko Damjanović, William Pao, Ammar Elsheikh, A. H. Seikh

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


This work discusses a case study of the failure of rice condition plant boiler pipe fittings. The failure analysis was performed on the 45° and 90° API 5L X65 steel pipe elbows connected to a steam manifold in a boiler of a rice conditioning plant. Failure analysis was performed by visual observation, microscopic analysis, hardness measurements, and numerically by Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD). It was confirmed that the mechanism of failure was due to erosion-corrosion. The results showed also that, erosion-corrosion at the outlet of the 90° and 45° elbows due to the maximum particle impact in the high pressure and high turbulence intensity region. Microscopic analysis of the 90° and 45° elbows showed that large pits and cuts were the main reason for leakage perforation. Erosion at the inner bend of the 90° and 45° elbows is lower than at the outer bend, which is related to the higher particle–wall impaction, pressure, and turbulence intensity. The main cause of leakage and wall thinning in both elbows is the development of limescale which leads to pitting corrosion and the formation of leaks at higher oxygen concentrations. The simulation results show that the maximum material removal rate in the 45° elbow is 42 % lower than in the 90° elbow, the erodent impaction and higher wall shear are liable for the development of the perforation near the exit of 90° and 45° elbows.

Original languageEnglish
Article number108177
JournalEngineering Failure Analysis
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2024


  • CFD-DPM simulation
  • Elbow
  • Erosion-corrosion
  • Failure analysis
  • Steam manifold pipe

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Materials Science
  • General Engineering


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