Stress Corrosion Cracking of Stainless Steels in Swimming Pool Buildings

This Health and Safety Executive Sector Information Minute SIM 5/2002/18 outlines the background to stress corrosion cracking failure hazards to stainless steel items used in indoor swimming poll buildings. This follows on from roof failures in Switzerland in 1985 and more recently in the Netherlands and notes that the atmospheres of indoor swimming pool buildings are amongst the most aggressive ones found in building interiors, where stainless steels are used. The minute discusses the background, noting the effects of chlorine based water distinfection systems and the chloramines generated by body fluid excretions on stainless steel components under applied or residual tensile stress. The stress corrosion process is outlined and the susceptibility of grades 1.4301 (304) and 1.4401 (316) to SCC in swimming pool environments noted. Preventative measures, inspection procedures and recommended actions for HSE inspectors are also covered.

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