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A weld that attached the head to the shell of a preheater containing steam at 1.4 MPa (200 psi) and was used in the manufacture of paper cracked in service. The original joint contained a 6.4 by 50 mm backing ring that had been tack welded to the inside surface of the shell in a position to project beyond the fully beveled top edge of the shell. The projecting edge of the ring fitted against a deep undercut on the inner corner of the rim of the head. The internal 90-deg angle in this undercut was sharp, with almost no fillet. A bevel from the lower edge of the undercut to the outside of the head completed the groove for the circumferential attachment weld. Investigation (visual inspection and actual size views etched in hot 50% hydrochloric acid) supported the conclusion that cracking occurred in the HAZ in the head of the original design, originating in the sharp corner of the undercut, which was an inherent stress raiser. Recommendations included revised joint design to ensure full root penetration.

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