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Leakage was detected at the welds between stiffening plates and the pipe in a transfer line carrying butane and related petrochemical compounds. The line and reinforcing rings were of AISI 316 stainless steel, the pipe being of 508 mm diam and 6.25 mm wall thickness. The design temperature and pressure were 621 deg C and 2.75 kPa, respectively, while the operating conditions were 579 deg C and 1.03 kPa. The line was insulated. Failure occurred after approximately 90,000 h of operation, shutdowns being approximately two per annum. The cracking occurred at the toe of welds between the plates and...

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