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Several air heat exchangers failed in service in a pulp and paper operation. The tubes were made from AISI 316 stainless steel with an extruded aluminum fin mechanically bonded to the outside. Originally, the failures were blamed on poor tube to header welds. The units were sent back to the manufacturer for repair. Some of the units failed the hydrostatic test after they were repaired. Microscopic examination revealed the presence of branched transgranular cracks characteristic of stress-corrosion cracking. Only some of the tubes failed and these did so by stress-corrosion cracking. The most probable primary cause of the stress-corrosion...

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