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This case study describes the failure analysis of a steel nozzle in which cracking was observed after a circumferential welding process. The nozzle assembly was made from low-carbon CrMoV alloy steel that was subsequently single-pass butt welded using gas tungsten arc welding. Although no cracks were found when the welds were visually inspected, X-ray radiography showed small discontinuous surface cracks adjacent to the weld bead in the heat affected zone. Further investigation, including optical microscopy, microhardness testing, and residual stress measurements, revealed that the cracks were caused primarily by the presence of coarse untempered martensite in the heat affected zone due to localized heating. The localized heating was caused by high welding heat input or low welding speed and resulted in high transformation stresses. These transformation stresses, working in combination with thermal stresses and constraint conditions, resulted in intergranular brittle fracture.

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