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Hydrogen-assisted stress-corrosion cracking failure occurred in four AISI 4137 chromium molybdenum steel bolts having a hardness of 42 HRC. The normal service temperature (400 deg C, or 750 deg F) was too high for hydrogen embrittlement but, the bolts were subjected also to extended shutdown periods at ambient temperatures. The corrosive environment contained trace hydrogen chloride and acetic acid vapors as well as calcium chloride if leaks occurred. The exact service life was unknown. The bolt surfaces showed extensive corrosion deposits. Cracks had initiated at both the thread roots and the fillet under the bolt head. Multiple, branched cracking...

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