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Two AISI type 316 stainless steel dished ends failed through the formation of intergranular stress-corrosion cracks (IGSCC) within a few months of service. The dished ends failed in the straight portions near the circumferential welds that joined the ends to the cylindrical portions of the vessel. Both dished ends were manufactured from the same batch and were supplied by the same manufacturer One of the dished ends had been exposed to sodium at 550 deg C (1020 deg F) for 500 h before failure due to sodium leakage was detected. The other dished end was used to fabricate a second vessel that was kept in storage for 1 year Clear evidence of sensitization was found in areas where IGSCC occurred. Sensitization was extensive in the dished end that had been exposed to sodium at high temperature, and it occurred in a narrow band similar to that typical of weld decay in the dished end that had been kept in storage. Solution annealing was recommended to relieve residual stress, thereby reducing the probability of failure. It was also recommended that the carbon content of the steel be lowered, i.e., that a 316L grade be used.

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