In the late 1980s, the domestic utility industry experienced failures in dissimilar metal welds (DMWs) between low-alloy ferritic tubing and austenitic tubing in superheaters and reheaters. Extensive research by EPRI found that nickel-based filler metals provided significant service life improvements over 309 stainless steel filler metals. Improved joint geometries and additional weld metal reinforcement were determined to extend service life further. A new nickel-based filler metal was also developed, exhibiting thermal expansion properties similar to the low-alloy base metal and a low chromium content that would result in a smaller carbon-depleted zone than currently available fillers. However, this new filler metal was never commercialized due to a tendency for microfissuring, resulting in less than desired service life. This paper discusses further investigation into the filler metal microfissuring issue and examines long-term testing to determine the filler's suitability for high-temperature applications.

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