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A large pressure vessel designed for use in an ammonia plant failed during hydrostatic testing. It was fabricated from ten Mn-Cr-Ni-Mo-V steel plates which were rolled and welded to form ten cylindrical shell sections and three forgings of similar composition. The fracture surfaces were metallographically examined to be typical for brittle steel fracture and associated with the circumferential weld that joined the flange forging to the first shell section. Featureless facets in the HAZ were observed and were revealed to be the fracture-initiation sites. Pronounced banding in the structure of the flange forging was revealed by examination. A greater...

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