Leaky Derusting Vessel Made of 18/8 Steel
A welded vessel made of acid resistant 18-8 steel used in a derusting operation started to leak after a long period due to the formation of cracks. The vessel was heated from the outside and did not come into direct contact with the flame. It was surrounded by a casing of unalloyed steel. Where the cracks had not eroded away, it was clear they ran transcrystalline, indicative of stress-corrosion cracking. Because the cracks propagated from the outer surface of the vessel, they were not caused by the derusting agent but by the external atmosphere in conjunction with welding stresses. The narrow gap between vessel and mild steel casing may have aggravated the situation in that it hindered ventilation and evaporation of condensation and favored the absorption and concentration of acids and salts. Contact and crevice corrosion due to deposition of rust from the mild steel casing may have contributed.