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A CF-8M (cast type 316) neck liner or manway was removed from the top of a digester vessel. Repeated attempts to repair the part in the field during its life cycle of many years had failed to keep the unit from leaking. The casting was a CF-8M modified with the molybdenum level at the top end of the range. The plate was standard 317L material. The filler metal was type 316, although marginal in molybdenum content. Investigation (visual inspection, chemical analysis, micrographs, and metallographic examination) supported the conclusion that the damage to the neck liner was due to Cl-SCC in an area of debris buildup. It appeared the original casting suffered SCC in a low-oxygen area high in chlorides from repeated wet/dry cycles where there was a buildup of debris. Recommendations included redesigning the neck liner to eliminate the abrupt change where there was debris buildup. If redesign was impossible, an alloy more resistant to Cl-SCC, such as a duplex stainless steel or a high-molybdenum (4 to 6%) austenitic stainless steel, should be used.

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