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An investigation was conducted to determine the cause of numerous cracks and other defects on the surface of a cast ASTM A743 grade CA-15 stainless steel main boiler feed pump impeller. The surface was examined using a stereomicroscope, and macrofractography was conducted on several cross sections removed from the impeller body. Areas that appeared to have the most severe surface damage were sectioned, fractured open, and examined using SEM. The chemistry of the impeller and an apparent repair weld were also analyzed. The examination indicated that the cracks were shrinkage voids from the original casting process. Surface repair welds had been used to fill in or cover over larger shrinkage cavities. It was recommended that more stringent visual and nondestructive examination criteria be established for the castings.

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