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Two new chrome-plated CDA 377 brass valves intended for inert gas service failed on initial installation. After a pickling operation to clean the metal, the outer surfaces of the valves had been flashed with copper and then plated with nickel and chromium for aesthetic purposes. One of the valves failed by dezincification. The porous copper matrix could not sustain the clamping loads imposed by tightening the pressure relief fitting. The second valve failed by shear overload of the pressure relief fitting. Overload was facilitated by a reduction of cross-sectional area caused by intergranular attack and slight dezincification of the inner bore surface of the fitting. Dezincification and intergranular attack were attributed to excessive exposure to nonoxidizing acids in the pickling bath.

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