How to extend CFB Boiler tube life and prevent CFB boiler tube leaks

CFB combustors facilitate the burning of a wide variety of fuels with high combustion efficiency while meeting pollutant emission requirements for SOx and NOx. Wastage of materials, both metallic and refractory, is a major source of concern because it can be responsible for CFB boiler tube leaks or forced outages, as well as high CFB boiler maintenance costs.

CFB Boiler Operator Expert View

Interviews have been conducted with three CFB Boiler specialists with combined 60+ years of experience of maintaining and operating Circulating Fluidized Boilers. Faced with CFB Boiler erosion across various units, they have a wealth of experience in pad welding, panel replacement, and thermal spray.

CFB Boiler Reliability Information Pack

  • CFB Boiler Reliability Webinar video recording, attended by 150+ CFB boiler operators from a variety of companies, including ADM, Cebu, E.ON, Fortum, NB Power, SFW,  Indonesia Power, PCPC, Veolia, and Westrock, among others.
  • Two interview articles with CFB boiler operators, detailing their pathway to CFB boiler reliability, extending CFB boiler tube life, and preventing CFB boiler tube leaks at various facilities over their careers.  
  • Additional video content and case studies, related to CFB boiler tube life preservation

CFB Boiler Tube Life and Reliability | Sneak Peak | Short Video Preview

Pete Kline, Plant Manager with 28 years CFB Experience:

"My very early CFB experience was at Glatfelter in Spring Grove and that unit was put in operation in 1989-1990. That was one of the
early CFBs back in the days when we didn’t know what we didn’t know. We were learning as we were going with these units. And this was actually before I got involved in the utility department, but they were having tube leaks at the interface between the refractory and the tube..."

Joel Taylor, Boiler Engineering and Maintenance Specialist:

"...I did work with a small boiler where the hard facing was used in the lower combustor and it worked for many years until they made a fuel change. And then that hard facing no longer would hold up to their new ash that was being recirculated inside the CFB and they eventually had to go to a High-Velocity Thermal Spray (HVTS) application...."

Ed Griffith, CFB Boiler Maintenance and Thermal Spray Subject Matter Expert:

"...At IGS, we continue working with boiler operators to develop long-term maintenance strategies. We picked the worst affected area to make sure the sample is representative and showed them how to perform grinding and mechanical repair, prior to application, correctly. We then inspected this sample after one year in service...”

Learn How to:

  • Develop a long-term CFB boiler maintenance strategy
  • Extend maintenance-free periods
  • Improve CFB boiler reliability and prevent forced shutdowns
CFB boiler tube life pad welding repair
CFB boiler tube life, boiler tube gouging
CFB boiler thermal spray inspection

"...And then just the welding process itself is extremely time-consuming, and then you also end up with bowing of your tubes due to the high heat input into one side of the tube. You can also end up with a burn-through. I’ve had this issue before where the welders weren’t necessarily doing weld overlay, but they were doing a tube repair and then they burned through the tube and didn’t tell anyone, causing a later tube failure."

- Joel Taylor, Boiler Engineering and Maintenance Specialist