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A segment of a stainless steel clad bottom cone of an acid sulfite pulping batch digester failed from severe corrosion loss. The digester was fabricated of 19 mm (34 in.) low-carbon steel with 3.8 mm (0.15 in.) type 317L stainless steel cladding. The manufacturing method for the cladding was unknown. Visual and metallographic analyses indicated that the failure was from transgranular stress-corrosion cracking (TGSCC), which caused extensive cracking and spalling of the cladding and was localized in a segment of the bottom cone. The remainder of the digester cladding was unaffected. The TGSCC was attributed to high, locked-in residual stresses from the cladding process. It was recommended that the bottom cone replacement segment be stress relieved prior to installation.

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