An 8″ x 6″, 316L stainless steel reducer was sent for failure analysis (Fig 1). It had been in service for 13 months when a leak was noticed. The reducer was installed on acid storage tank, equipment number 50-200. The anodically protected carbon steel tank, contained off specification concentrated 93% sulphuric acid. The flow rate through the reducer was 400 gal/min.
The tank was originally designed with a 4″ diameter carbon steel nozzle, at floor level, that connected directly to a valve (Fig 2). This lasted seven to eight years without incident. The design was changed to accommodate renovations so that an 8″ carbon steel nozzle was installed 6″ above the tank floor.
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