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The maximum life of base-loaded headers and piping is not possible to be predicted until they develop microcracking. The typical elements of a periodic inspection program after the occurrence of the crack was described extensively. Cracks caused by creep swelling in the stub-to-header welds in the secondary superheater outlet headers (constructed of SA335-P11 material) of a major boiler were described as an example. The OD of the header was measured to detect the amount of swelling and found to have increased 1.6% since its installation. Ligament cracks extending from tube seat to tube seat were revealed by surface inspection. Cracks were found to originate from inside the header, extend axially in the tube penetrations and radially from those holes into the ligaments. Cracks in 94 locations, ranging from small radial cracks to full 360Ý cracks were revealed by dye-penetrant inspection. The unit was operated under reduced-temperature conditions and with less load cycling than previously until a redesigned SA335-P22 header was installed.

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