A steam line at 100 bar and 500°C has to be inspected to prevent degradation and leakages. However, it is not possible to remove a piece for examination purposes. In this particular case, replication is the best alternative to enable microstructural investigation. This analysis often takes place in an industrial environment. MCI has extensive experience with this inspection technique and has a well proven track record in this field of expertise.
During replication a print of the microstructure of a material is made. The metal surface is prepared but the installation stays unaffected. The surface is grinded, polished and etched similar to conventional microscopic investigations. Next, a special plastic film is appllied to the surface, imprinting the negative image of the microstructure of the material. This film is placed on a slide for a quick scan on site and a more thorough investigation at the laboratory.
With the replication technique we investigate:
+ Creep damage
+ Grain size
+ Microstructural changes in the material due to temperature influences or deformations;
+ Defects to the surface of the material (such as inclusions, inter- and transgranular (stess corrosion) cracking, rolling defects, crack growth prediction, hot cracking).