Microstructural analysis of service exposed IBN1 MARBN steel boiler tubing

Extensive research and development has been undertaken in the UK on MarBN steels. These were first proposed by Professor Fujio Abe from NIMS in Japan. Within the UK, progress has been made towards commercialisation of MarBN-type steel through a series of Government funded industrial collaborative projects (IMPACT, IMPEL, INMAP and IMPULSE). As part of the IMPACT project, which was led by Uniper Technologies, boiler tubes were manufactured from the MarBN steel developed within the project, IBN1, and installed on the reheater drums of Units 2 and 3 of Ratcliffe-on-Soar Power Station. The trial tubes were constructed with small sections of Grade 91 tubing on either side of the IBN1 to allow direct comparison after the service exposure. This is the world’s first use of a MarBN steel on a full-scale operational power plant. In September 2018 the first tube was removed having accumulated 11,727 hours operation and 397 starts. This paper reports microstructural and oxidation analysis, that has been undertaken by Loughborough University as part of IMPULSE project, and outlines future work to be carried out.