Weld Craters in Stainless Steel Heat Exchanger Tubes
Beveled weld-joint V-sections were fabricated to connect inlet and outlet sections of tubes in a type 347 stainless steel heat exchanger for a nitric acid concentrator. Each V-section was permanently marked with the tube numbers by a small electric-arc pencil. After one to two years of service, multiple leaks were observed in the heat-exchanger tubes. Investigation supported the conclusion that the corrosion occurred at two general locations: the stop point of the welds used to connect the inlet and outlet legs of the heat exchanger, and the stop points on the identifying numerals. Recommendations included replaced the material with type 304L stainless steel.