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A recuperator for blast heating of a cupola furnace became unserviceable because of the brittle fracture of several finned tubes made of heat resistant cast steel containing 1.4C, 2.3Si and 28Cr. The service temperature was reported as 850 deg C. This led to the suspicion that the fracturing had something to do with the precipitation of sigma phase. Metallographic examination showed that the multiaxial stresses caused by sigma phase formation and the related embrittlement was the cause for the fracture of the recuperator. A steel of lower chromium content with no or little tendency for sigma phase formation would...

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