Boiler tube fallure mechanism recognition — an expert system

CIM Bulletin, Vol. 83, No. 939, 1990

P. Mayer, Ontario Hydro Research Division, Toronto, Ontario

Determining the correct mechanism of a boiler tube failure is important for the prevention of future tube failures. Proper corrective measures can be undertaken to alleviate the root cause or causes for a failure only when the correct mechanism is known. A mechanism of boiler tube failure is defined as the process which degrades the tube and produces a failure. An expert system package was developed for use by electric utility power plant personnel during investigation into the cause of a boiler tube failure. It is intended to assist their efforts to recognize and identify a basic failure mechanism that can produce the type of boiler tube failure under investigation. The program guides the user to the most likely failure mechanism by asking simple questions, answers which can be obtained by determining the failure location, type of fuel, and from visual inspection of the failed tube. Expert systems are a form of artificial intelligence which imitate the decision-making process of experts.
Mots Clés: Expert systems, Computer applications, Boiler tube, Electric power plant.