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Thread: Super heater blowout

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    Default Super heater blowout

    I am a Project Engineer for a vibration/infrared company and while on a recent Sea Trial the stbd boiler lost steam pressure due to a blown super heater tube. Thought I'd share a pic for anyone interested!

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    Default Re: Super heater blowout

    I've seen a few of those over the years. Bet it made a hell of a racket when it blew.
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    I've had to fix a few of these in my time as well. Last one I remember was the SS Diamond State. Happened on the morning the entire crew showed up to sign on for to do post shipyard sea trials. The contractor they hired to do the boiler work was also a licensed engineer. He took responsibility to bake it all night. Problem was his crew was behind schedule hanging all the doors and closing the boilers up. So he brought it a little sooner than it was ready for. Hell of a mess every tube on the lower nest exploded. Took out some of the generating and screen tubes and holed the mud drum in several places. All that was left in the vestibule was the lower pass stainless hanger bar with the j bolts still welded to it and it was mangled. The superplastic curtain in between the upper and lower tube banks was still intact.
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    Default Re: Super heater blowout

    Quote Originally Posted by Too bad steam is gone View Post
    I've seen a few of those over the years. Bet it made a hell of a racket when it blew.

    Sounds like a thousand Banshees.
    ~ the road goes on forever and the party never ends ~
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    Default Re: Super heater blowout

    Quote Originally Posted by Fraqrat View Post
    I've had to fix a few of these in my time as well. Last one I remember was the SS Diamond State. Happened on the morning the entire crew showed up to sign on for to do post shipyard sea trials. The contractor they hired to do the boiler work was also a licensed engineer. He took responsibility to bake it all night. Problem was his crew was behind schedule hanging all the doors and closing the boilers up. So he brought it a little sooner than it was ready for. Hell of a mess every tube on the lower nest exploded. Took out some of the generating and screen tubes and holed the mud drum in several places. All that was left in the vestibule was the lower pass stainless hanger bar with the j bolts still welded to it and it was mangled. The superplastic curtain in between the upper and lower tube banks was still intact.
    So this contractor, what was his next job, driving a roach coach?
    ~ the road goes on forever and the party never ends ~
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    They called my dads outfit in to repair it all. I think the incident bankrupted the other fella. He had hired me months before to go with a few guys to Orange Texas and fire up the plant on an old ship called the Pioneer Crusader. We stayed over there in a hotel for a week I did night watch with an TMA 2nd. The automation was iffy so I just sat down below watching the fires and adjusting fuel and air by hand. The 2nd kept an eye on water levels and we collected our check. To this day I have no idea why we started everything up. At the end of the week we secured everything and that was that. Easiest money I ever made.
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    Default Re: Super heater blowout

    Quote Originally Posted by Fraqrat View Post
    They called my dads outfit in to repair it all. I think the incident bankrupted the other fella. He had hired me months before to go with a few guys to Orange Texas and fire up the plant on an old ship called the Pioneer Crusader. We stayed over there in a hotel for a week I did night watch with an TMA 2nd. The automation was iffy so I just sat down below watching the fires and adjusting fuel and air by hand. The 2nd kept an eye on water levels and we collected our check. To this day I have no idea why we started everything up. At the end of the week we secured everything and that was that. Easiest money I ever made.
    Does this mean he didn't drive a roach coach?
    What a mess to put back together, it boggles my mind.
    Look, I know shit happens, but hey ~
    ~ the road goes on forever and the party never ends ~
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    Default Re: Super heater blowout

    Quote Originally Posted by VibrationTech View Post
    I am a Project Engineer for a vibration/infrared company and while on a recent Sea Trial the stbd boiler lost steam pressure due to a blown super heater tube. Thought I'd share a pic for anyone interested!

    image-3750632034.jpg

    Nice. I remember when we were bringing a plant up, venting the superheater and of course you couldn't hear much but the screaming when in the vicinity. We started flowing and I asked the oiler to kill the vent. The screaming stopped as normal but was replaced with another music entirely, things started making rattling noises and I looked at the stack which looked like a damn cooling tower. Got the thing shut down and the superheater section was a scrap metal man's dream. We got it put back together with the help of some fine boiler tube guys in about a week.
    Strange thing is, I miss that kinda thing.
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    Default Re: Super heater blowout

    Quote Originally Posted by tengineer View Post
    Nice. I remember when we were bringing a plant up, venting the superheater and of course you couldn't hear much but the screaming when in the vicinity. We started flowing and I asked the oiler to kill the vent. The screaming stopped as normal but was replaced with another music entirely, things started making rattling noises and I looked at the stack which looked like a damn cooling tower. Got the thing shut down and the superheater section was a scrap metal man's dream. We got it put back together with the help of some fine boiler tube guys in about a week.
    Strange thing is, I miss that kinda thing.
    "We started flowing," meaning the boiler was on line and feeding the TG's, perhaps the Main Engine too. Were the drains cracked open on the main and aux steam lines? So what happened? Was the superheater stop valve opened too fast? Were warm-up valves used? Ever figure out what caused such a rupture?
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    Default Re: Super heater blowout

    Quote Originally Posted by Sweat-n-Grease View Post
    "We started flowing," meaning the boiler was on line and feeding the TG's, perhaps the Main Engine too. Were the drains cracked open on the main and aux steam lines? So what happened? Was the superheater stop valve opened too fast? Were warm-up valves used? Ever figure out what caused such a rupture?
    Yes, all the above was done but we later found out the there had been some carryover during load tests prior to shutting it down. Best guess was the damage was done by that and when we were coming on line increasing the load it just went. Things started flying around in there! Never seen stuff come loose before just holes, this was impressive. It had some age on it already...
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    Default Re: Super heater blowout

    Quote Originally Posted by tengineer View Post
    Yes, all the above was done but we later found out the there had been some carryover during load tests prior to shutting it down. Best guess was the damage was done by that and when we were coming on line increasing the load it just went. Things started flying around in there! Never seen stuff come loose before just holes, this was impressive. It had some age on it already...
    WOW! What could you do but secure the boiler and grab a cold one. Cripes !! Gotta say, this one never happened to me but I do understand the problem of carry-over and shock. Things started flying around in there ~ Oh my goodness, indeed, Good Lord Almighty !
    ~ the road goes on forever and the party never ends ~
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    Default Re: Super heater blowout

    Quote Originally Posted by Sweat-n-Grease View Post
    WOW! What could you do but secure the boiler and grab a cold one. Cripes !! Gotta say, this one never happened to me but I do understand the problem of carry-over and shock. Things started flying around in there ~ Oh my goodness, indeed, Good Lord Almighty !
    In retrospect it was amusing. We started looking at each other when we heard the noise and thought maybe some fool had decided to use a jack-hammer to chip rust or a bearing had gone in a fan or something really strange or bad. Then when I saw the stack it was one of those OH SHIT moments.
    When we started cutting tubes out it looked like some one had been launching ball bearings down them. I was amazed we lasted long as we did.That's when I started asking questions. It was a damn Bailey guy that let it carry over while doing his load tests. He didn't believe his own instruments and convinced the first he had everything under control. The first told me later that when they were venting to atmosphere he heard it get quiet for a minute but the Bailey guy said everything was OK. go figure...Naturally the first in this episode was home when this all happened. He got to be third for awhile when he came back. The experience did him good. Damn fine chief not long after, on a motor ship.
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