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An exhaust diffuser assembly failed prematurely in service. The failure occurred near the intake end of the assembly and involved fracture in the diffuser cone (Corten), diffuser in take flange (type 310 stainless steel), diffuser exit flange (type 405 stainless steel), expansion bellows (Inconel 600), and bellows intake flange (Corten). Individual segments of the failed subassemblies were examined using various methods. The analysis indicated that the weld joint in the diffuser intake flange (type 310 stainless steel to Corten steel) contained diffusion-zone solidification cracks. The joints had been produced using the mechanized gas-metal arc welding process. Cracking was attributed to improper control of welding parameters, and failure was attributed to weld defects.

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