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Several short tubes of type 304 stainless steel that had been sensitized by heating in the 425 to 875 C range followed by pickling in a solution of 12 per cent nitric acid and 2 per cent hydrofluoric acid failed in service. Metallurgical examination indicated that these tubes had been weakened by intergranular corrosion caused by incorrect heat-treating and pickling procedures prior to installation. Since it was not known how many of the tubes were structurally weak and since the tubes were welded into place and had to be retained in the system, a nondestructive test was needed to determine the condition of those tubes still in use so that additional failures could be prevented.
Robinson, R. C.
E. I. du Pont de Nemours & Co., Savannah River Laboratory, Aiken, S. C.