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A type 430Ti stainless steel flue gas expansion joint cracked because of caustic-induced stress-corrosion cracking. Energy-dispersive X-ray spectroscope analysis of the fracture surface deposits revealed the presence of sodium and potassium—caustics in hydroxide form. Primary fracture surfaces were all similar in appearance, and a primary crack origin could not be identified. A secondary crack brought to fracture in the laboratory showed brittle, cleavage features rather than classic, tensile overload features. This suggested that the material was embrittled.

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Sarah Jane Hahn, Caustic-Induced Stress-Corrosion Cracking of a Flue Gas Expansion Joint, Handbook of Case Histories in Failure Analysis, Vol 2, Edited By Khlefa A. Esaklul, ASM International, 1993, p 153–155,

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