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Two type 420 martensitic stainless steel load cell bodies, which had been installed under two of the four legs of a milk storage tank failed in service. The failure occurred near a change in section and involved fracture of the entire cross section. Examination showed a brittle fracture that was preceded by a small fatigue region. Pitting corrosion was evident at the fracture origin. The areas around the load cells had been subjected to regular washdowns using high-pressure hot water, and the pitting was attributed to crevice corrosion between the load cell and the holddown bolts. Prevention of such corrosion by the use of a flexible sealant to eliminate the crevice was recommended.

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