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Alloy 430 stainless steel tube-to-header welds failed in a heat recovery steam generator (HRSG) within one year of commissioning. The HRSG was in a combined cycle, gas-fired, combustion turbine electric power plant. Alloy 430, a 17% Cr ferritic stainless steel, was selected because of its resistance to chloride and sulfuric acid dewpoint corrosion under conditions potentially present in the HRSG low-pressure feedwater economizer. Intergranular corrosion and cracking were found in the weld metal and heat-affected zones. The hardness in these regions was up to 35 HRC, and the weld had received a postweld heat treatment (PWHT). Metallographic examination revealed that the corroded areas contained undertempered martensite. Fully tempered weld areas with a hardness of 93 HRB were not attacked. No evidence of corrosion fatigue was found. Uneven temperature control during PWHT was the most likely cause of failure.

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H. Krafft, Alloy 430 Ferritic Stainless Steel Welds Fail due to Stress-Corrosion Cracking in Heat-Recovery Steam Generator, ASM Failure Analysis Case Histories: Power Generating Equipment, ASM International, 2019,

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