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The defects observed along weldings of stainless steel pipelines employed in marine environments were evidenced by metallographic and electrochemical examination. A compilation of cases on the effect of defective weldings, in addition to improper choice of stainless steel for water pipelines, lead to the conclusion that intercrystalline corrosion in steels involved precipitation of a surplus phase at grain boundaries. Intercrystalline corrosion in austenitic stainless steels due to precipitation of chromium carbides during conditions generated due to welding and ways to avoid the precipitation (including reduction of carbon content, appropriate heat treatment, cold work of steel, reduction of austenitic grain size and stabilizing elements) were described. The presence of microcracks due to highly localized heat concentrations with consequent thermal expansion and considerable shrinkages during cooling was investigated. The specimens were taken from various sources including transverse and longitudinal welding seam, sensitized areas and it was concluded appropriate material selection with respect to medium could control some corrosion processes.

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