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A high-pressure steam pipe specified to be P22 low-alloy steel failed after 25 years of service. Located at the end of the steam line, the pipe reportedly received no steam flow during normal service. Visual examination of the failed pipe section revealed a window fracture that appeared brittle in nature. Specimens from the fracture area and from an area well away from the fracture were examined metallographically and chemically analyzed. Results indicated that the pipe had failed by hydrogen damage that resulted in brittle fracture. Chemical analysis indicated that the pipe material was 1020 carbon steel, not P22. The misapplication of pipe material was considered to be a contributing factor. Position of the pipe within the system caused the localized damage.

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Carmine D'Antonio, Failure of a High-Pressure Steam Pipe, Handbook of Case Histories in Failure Analysis, Vol 2, Edited By Khlefa A. Esaklul, ASM International, 1993, p 181–184,

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