Journal of Failure Analysis and Prevention

, Volume 16, Issue 2, pp 209–215 | Cite as

Failure Analysis of AISI 321 Austenitic Stainless Steel Water Piping in a Power Plant

  • Mehdi Javidi
  • M. R. Nematollahi
  • M. M. Lalehparvar
  • A. Ghassemi
Technical Article---Peer-Reviewed


The objective of this work was to analyze a reported pitting damage mechanism in water piping of a power plant. The investigated material was a longitudinal-seam welded pipe which was made of AISI 321 austenitic stainless steel. Pitting occurred on the internal surfaces of the pipe and adjacent to the girth welds. Optical emission spectrometry, metallography, and electrochemical testing were the techniques employed to analyze the failure. The investigation showed that the flowing water contained chloride ions in which AISI 321 austenitic stainless steel is not immune against pitting corrosion. In addition, the polarization data showed the susceptibility of the material to pitting corrosion in the service conditions. Furthermore, the result of double loop electrochemical potentiokinetic reactivation tests showed that the material was sensitized during welding. It was found that the damage was due to pitting corrosion in chloride-containing water. Thus, it was recommended to replace the pipe with material having higher pitting resistance equivalent number to be more resistant against pitting corrosion.


Pitting corrosion AISI 321 austenitic stainless steel Piping Weld 


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Copyright information

© ASM International 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Mehdi Javidi
    • 1
  • M. R. Nematollahi
    • 2
  • M. M. Lalehparvar
    • 1
  • A. Ghassemi
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Materials Science and EngineeringSchool of EngineeringShirazIran
  2. 2.School of Mechanical EngineeringShirazIran

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