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Metallurgy Laboratory 

The laboratory undertakes various developmental programmes and plant/site support activities in the various disciplines of metallurgy like creep, fatigue and fracture mechanics and non-destructive testing (NDT) of materials, keeping in mind the present and long-term needs of the company. It undertakes creep evaluation of various types of boiler and turbine steels using different methodologies. Typical of these are weld evaluation of boiler components under simulated service exposure. It provides regular data on remaining life of boiler tubes received by BHEL-Tiruchirapalli from sites.

The fatigue and fracture mechanics activities meet the need of design and quality control by providing valuable data regarding mechanical behaviour of materials. Extensive work in the area of residual stress measurement using X-ray diffraction and Barkhausen noise principles are undertaken regularly to evaluate remaining life of turbine components both in the laboratory and at site. Wide spectrum of in-house NDT skills and expertise are available for inspection of components without impairing their functionality. This is extensively used in condition assessment/remaining life assessment of thermal power plants and gas turbines of BHEL and non-BHEL sets. Extensive material testing and failure investigations are undertaken by the laboratory using its past 25 years of acquired knowledge and skill. Consultations are also provided to manufacturing units to solve their metallurgical problems.

Major Achievements:
Indigenous development of creep-resistant steels for boilers and turbines in association with steel manufacturers in the country. 
Development of methodologies/techniques for RLA studies of power plant components and their extensive use for last several years. 
In-situ eddy current testing of condenser tubes
Generation of high and low cycle fatigue data including thermal fatigue data of Steam Turbine steels
Development of shot peening process for introducing residual compress stress to improve fatigue and stress-corrosion properties of turbine blade roots. 
Development of in-situ non-destructive methodology for fatigue damage evaluation of turbine rotor, casing, blades and automobile components. 
In-situ ultrasonic inspection of rotor bores.

Major Ongoing Projects:
Development of Frame-6, 3rd stage Gas Turbine buckets by investment casting 
Short-term stress relaxation methodology for predicting long-term creep properties 
Development of advanced ultrasonic techniques for feed water heater and condenser tubes  
Studies on the effect of minor addition of niobium on creep-rupture behaviour of 1 Cr 1 MožV cast steel and its weld joints   

Major Facilities:
122 Test Point Creep Lab comprising Single-Point Creep Testing Machines and Multi-Point Stress Rupture Machines 
Rigaku Portable X-Ray and Stress-Scan 500 Magneto-Elastic Residual Stress Analysers 
Scanning Electron Microscope with EDX Including Line Scanning and X-Ray Mapping   
Multi-Channel Ultrasonic Flaw Detector    
50 KN and 250 KN Closed Loop, Servo Hydraulic Universal Testing Machine (UTM) 
500 KN Closed Loop, Servo Hydraulic UTM for carrying out High Temperature Testing including LCF Studies 
Stress-Scan Equipment for Residual Stress Measurement, based on Magnetic Parameters 
Multi-Channel Eddy Current Test System for in-situ inspection of Condenser Tubes 
Metallurgical Microscope including Image Analysis 
Thermographic Camera 
Alloy Analyser

Surface Coatings and Treatment Laboratory

The laboratory focuses on development various types of surface coating methodologies for Hydroturbines, Gas Turbines (GTs), Boilers, etc. These include applications of Atmospheric Plasma Coating as Thermal Barrier Coatings for GT components, HVOF coating for hydro turbine components for combating silt erosion and for FBC, CFBC and PF boiler-tubes to resist high-temperature erosion.

Major Achievements:
High-temperature wear-resistant coating for shroud segments of GTs
Atmospheric plasma sprayed zirconia-based coating for combustion liners of GTs
HVOF coating for hydroturbine components and boiler-tubes
Plasma sprayed coating for steam valve spindles
Indigenisation of erosion-resistant bed nozzles for FBC boilers
Laser hardening of LP steam turbine blades to combat droplet erosion 
Corrosion-resistant coating for SITVC tanks of PSLV and GSLV for ISRO

Major Ongoing Projects:
Thermal Barrier Coatings for GT transition piece
Development of Twin Wire Arc Spray Coatings for erosion control of boiler tubes
Development of Aluminide Coatings for GT nozzles and blades
Development of DVC-TBC for GT buckets and nozzles 
Development of Micro-pulse Plasma Coating for wear protection

Major Facilities:
80 kW Atmospheric Plasma Spray System
HVOF Spray System
Twin Arc Wire Flame Spray Systems
100 kW High Energy High Velocity Plasma Spray System
General Manipulators, Boom, Rotator, X-Y Manipulator 
6 plus 2 Axis Thermal Spray Robotic System with Turn Table  
X-ray Diffraction System   
Acoustic Chamber 
Coating Characterization Facilities 
Slurry Erosion Test Rig 
Silt and Cavitation Erosion Test Rig 
Droplet Erosion Test Rig

Chemical Sciences Laboratory

The laboratory carries out the activities related to water chemistry, corrosion, chemical auditing of the samples required by various BHEL plants and sites, RLA studies on transformers, insulating material studies, desalination polymer development for frontier areas of research. It is also catering to the needs of customers, and sister units regarding chemical aspects of power plant equipment. Failure investigations related to boilers, heat exchangers, steam turbines, etc. are being carried out to identify the causes of the problems and the possible remedies.

Major Achievements:
Prediction of Residual Life of Condenser Tubes based on Eddy Current Test and Corrosion Rates measured through Electrochemical Investigations.
Study on the Effect of Impulse Voltage Withstand-ability on the Thermally-aged Transformer Paper
Development of Proton Exchange Membrane for Fuel Cell Application

Major Ongoing Projects:
Monitoring of Cooling Water from Microbiological Perspective
Evaluation of Inhibitors for SS-34 and Admiralty Brass Condenser Tube materials in River Water  
Development of Equipment for RLA of Transformers 
Evaluation of PEEK-based membrane for PEM Fuel Cell Application 

Major Facility:
Fourier Transform Infra Red Spectrophotometer (FTIR) 
High-Performance Liquid Chromatograph (HPLC )  
Dynamic Corrosion Test Rig 
Gas Chromotograph (GC) 
Interfacial Tensiometer 
Moisture Analyser 
Atomic Absorption Spectrophotometer
Rotating Bomb Oxidation Test (RBOT) 
Viscosity Measurement Bath

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