Weld Decay—an Example From Service
Leakage which developed from two storage vessels handling a mixture of trimethyl formate and chloroform took place from the dished head at the edge of the circumferential weld to the shell which incorporated a backing ring. Some shallow pitting had occurred under the backing ring on the shell side behind the tack welds securing the backing strip to the shell. Intermittent pitting had also occurred along the head side of the weld at the other end the vessel. There was no pitting along the main longitudinal weld of the shells in any vessel nor around any of the branches set into the shells. The material of the original vessels was specified as BS 970 - 1966. En 58J. Sections taken through pitted areas from both head welds showed preferential attack along the grain-boundaries, some grains becoming completely detached. The location of the pitting and preferential attack was at such a distance from the weld that the heat of welding could have raised the metal temperature to 550 to 700 deg C (1292 deg F). The corrosion of the shell material which occurred at the shell side of the weld under the backing ring is also an example of crevice corrosion.