This paper reports on the failure analysis carried out on leaking copper pipes from three different air conditioning systems. Pinhole leaks originating from localized corrosion morphology were reported. Microscopic interconnecting tunnels inside the pipe section were observed; these tunnels were filled with corrosion products. Experimental findings and similarity to previously reported cases pointed out a corrosion mechanism known as “ant-nest corrosion” as failure cause. This type of corrosion could develop in heat exchanger components stored after assembly, during leakage tests or in the initial operational stages. It was shown that an ant-nest corrosion attack could start due to different reasons and propagate in different ways (from the inside or from the outside of the tube). In the first examined case, it was supposed that the hydrolysis of a halocarbon gas circulating in the pipe was the triggering cause of the corrosion event; in the other cases, we ascribed the starting corrosion event to the presence of residual organic contaminants on the external pipe surface.

Ant-nest corrosion failure of heat exchangers copper pipes

Luca Cozzarini
Membro del Collaboration Group
;
Lucia Marsich
Membro del Collaboration Group
;
Chiara Schmid
Investigation
2020

Abstract

This paper reports on the failure analysis carried out on leaking copper pipes from three different air conditioning systems. Pinhole leaks originating from localized corrosion morphology were reported. Microscopic interconnecting tunnels inside the pipe section were observed; these tunnels were filled with corrosion products. Experimental findings and similarity to previously reported cases pointed out a corrosion mechanism known as “ant-nest corrosion” as failure cause. This type of corrosion could develop in heat exchanger components stored after assembly, during leakage tests or in the initial operational stages. It was shown that an ant-nest corrosion attack could start due to different reasons and propagate in different ways (from the inside or from the outside of the tube). In the first examined case, it was supposed that the hydrolysis of a halocarbon gas circulating in the pipe was the triggering cause of the corrosion event; in the other cases, we ascribed the starting corrosion event to the presence of residual organic contaminants on the external pipe surface.
14-gen-2020
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https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1350630719302985
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11368/2955576
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