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A chemical storage vessel failed while in service. The failure occurred as cracking through the vessel wall, resulting in leakage of the fluid. The tank had been molded from a high-density polyethylene (HDPE) resin. The material held within the vessel was an aromatic hydrocarbon-based solvent. Investigation (visual inspection, stereomicroscopic examination, 20x/100x SEM images, micro-FTIR in the ATR mode, and analysis using DSC and TGA) supported the conclusion that the chemical storage vessel failed via a creep mechanism associated with the exertion of relatively low stresses. The source of the stress was thought to be molded-in residual stresses associated with...

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