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A system of carbon steel headers, handling superheated water of 188 deg C (370 deg F) at 2 MPa (300 psi) for automobile-tire curing presses, developed a number of leaks within about four months after two to three years of leak-free service. All the leaks were in shielded metal arc butt welds joining 200 mm (8 in.) diam 90 deg elbows and pipe to 200 mm (8 in.) diam welding-neck flanges. A flange-elbow-flange assembly and a flange-pipe assembly that had leaked were removed for examination. Investigation (visual inspection, hardness testing, chemical analysis, magnetic-particle testing, radiographic inspection, and 2% nital...

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