Dezincification of a Copper Pipe Welded Joint
A welded joint between lengths of 4 in. OD x 13 SWG copper pipe which formed part of a cold-water main failed by cracking over one-third of the circumference. Microscopic examination of the filler metal showed that it had a structure corresponding to a brass of the 60:40 type commonly used for bronze welding. Failure resulted from dezincification of the joint material from the internal side of the tube. Also, a selective attack on the beta phase had occurred. It was evident that the loss in mechanical strength arising from the corrosion had resulted in the development of cracking in service. The filler metal used was not resistant to the conditions to which it was exposed. Copper welding rods as per BS 1077 or a Cu-Ag-P brazing alloy as recommended in BS 699, would have been preferable.