Causes of corrosion in copper exchangers

We look for the origin of the corrosion failure of the copper pipes of a heat exchanger through techniques such as SEM, EDX, XRF or water analysis to find out why the failure is occurring and propose the solution.


Objective. Know why there was corrosion in copper exchangers

Our client, a leading company in compressed air, refrigeration and industrial air conditioning systems and installations, has detected that corrosion is occurring in some of the copper heat exchangers of its refrigeration equipment. Their objective is to know the origin of this corrosion and the solutions that can be implemented, since currently this failure requires costly repairs and maintenance operations.

Solution. Analysis of conditions, characterizations by SEM, EDX, XRF and water analysis

The first step was to know where this piece was installed and under what conditions. This information is key to analyzing the factors that may influence and cause the problem.
We carried out the analysis of these factors and proposed studying both the corroded materials, parts in good condition and also the water that circulated through these refrigeration equipment.

We selected SEM, EDX, and XRF as characterization techniques for the materials in order to understand the materials, their composition and oxidation in depth. In the case of cooling water, we carried out an analysis to know values such as conductivity, alkalinity and chlorides.

After analyzing the results we were able to find the cause of the failure and the root of it. The last step was to document all the analysis and explain our recommendations to solve the problem to our client.