Stress-Corrosion Cracking of a Brazed Joint in a Type 321 Stainless Steel Pressure-Tube Assembly
A type 321 stainless steel (AMS 5570) pressure-tube assembly that contained a brazed reinforcing liner leaked during a pressure test. Fluorescent liquid-penetrant inspection revealed a circumferential crack extended approximately 180 deg around the tube parallel to the fillet of the brazed joint. The presence of multiple origin cracks was indicated on the inside surface of a fractured portion of the crack surface. The cracks had originated adjacent to the braze joining the tube and the reinforcing liner and propagated through the wall to the outer surface. The residues on the inner surface of the tube were identified as fluorides from the brazing flux by chemical analysis. The nature of the crack, potential for corrosion due to residual fluorides and residual swaging stress in the tube prior to brazing, confirmed that failure of the tube end was due to stress-corrosion cracking. Stress relief treatment of tube before brazing and immediate cleaning of brazing residual fluorides was recommended to avoid failure.