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Graphitization, the formation of graphite nodules in carbon and low alloy steels, contributes to many failures in high-temperature environments. Three such failures in power-generating systems were analyzed to demonstrate the unpredictable nature of this failure mechanism and its effect on material properties and structures. In general, the more randomly distributed the nodules, the less effect they have on structural integrity. In the cases examined, the nodules were found to be organized in planar arrays, indicating they might have an effect on material properties. Closer inspection, however, revealed that the magnitude of the effect depends on the relative orientation of...

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