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Unit 3 - Corrosion Accidents

WING LIFT STRUT ASSEMBLY FAILURE AND COLLISION WITH TERRAIN

03-30-2019:
Snowshoe Lake - about 53 nautical miles northwest of Kenora, Ontario (CANADA) - At about 1:19 in the afternoon, control of the ski-equipped Piper J3C-65 aircraft was lost. The aircraft subsequently collided with the frozen surface of the lake. An inspection at the crash site indicated that the left main spar wing lift assembly had separated near the lower end attachment. A TSB Laboratory analysis of the lift strut assembly determined that the failure was initiated by excessive corrosion, subsequently followed by fatigue and overload failure. There were 2 fatalities.


EUROCOPTER EC135T1 ACCIDENT

02-26-2019:
Owen Roberts International Airport (CAYMAN ISLANDS) - At the beginning of a training and search session, the helicopter had lifted to a height of about 4 feet when the pilot realized there was a problem. He immediately landed the helicopter. The helicopter landed heavily, and the tail boom landing gear and transmission deck were damaged. An inspection revealed that the main rotor actuator had failed. A tie bar within the actuator was found to have suffered pitting corrosion. This lead to intergranular corrosion (IGC) and cracking, which resulted in overload failure of the remaining material. The 3 crew members sustained minor injuries.


PIPELINE RUPTURE AND FIRE


10-09-2018: Prince George, British Columbia (CANADA) - A 36-inch Enbridge natural gas pipeline ruptured, and the gas ignited. Laboratory analysis determined that the rupture originated at stress corrosion cracks on the external surface of the pipe. There were no injuries or fatalities.


UNCONTROLLED MOVEMENT AND DERAILMENT OF FREIGHT CARS

05-01-2018:
Sept-Iles, Quebec (CANADA) - At about 2:25 in the afternoon, a cut of 17 empty mixed freight cars uncoupled from a yard assignment train at the marshalling yard of the Quebec North Shore and Labrador Railway. The first four of the freight cars crossed over a sliding derail and rolled onto a concrete surface. The lead car smashed through a repair shop door, entered the shop, and then crashed into a parked track unit which also derailed. The accident occurred because a coupler suddenly opened when subjected to in-train forces. Analysis suggested that the coupler did not lock properly due to the buildup of corrosion. There were no injuries or fatalities.


FLOODING AND SINKING OF TOWING VESSEL MS NANCY C


03-06-2018: Everett Lake - near Dyersville, Tennessee - While moving and positioning cargo barges, the vessel sank in 15 feet of water. The NTSB determined the probable cause to be inadequate maintenance of the vessel, which resulted in corrosion and loss of watertight integrity on the main deck. This allowed uncontrolled water ingress into the vessel's stern voids. There were no fatalities or injuries. Damage was estimated to be $667,306.


LEHIGH TUNNEL SEMI-TRAILER TRUCK ACCIDENT


02-21-2018: East Penn Township, Carbon County, Pennsylvania - While traveling southbound through the Lehigh Tunnel #2 Interstate 476 (the Pennsylvania Turnpike), a truck struck a 10-foot-long section of electrical conduit that had fallen from the tunnel ceiling. The conduit penetrated the truck cab and struck the driver, killing him. An inspection of the tunnel in 2016 identified evidence of corrosion on multiple steel support straps used to affix the conduit to the tunnel ceiling. The support system failed on the day of the accident, allowing the conduit to fall into the path of the semi-trailer truck.


JURONG SHIPYARD FINED

01-04-2018: Jurong Shipyard Pte Ltd (JSPL) (SINGAPORE) - JSPL was fined $230,000 for failure to ensure a cherry picker (owned by JSPL) was maintained in a safe condition. The accident occurred on October 29, 2011 when two workers - using the cherry picker to lift them to a position where they could carry out grit blasting work on the bow of a ship in dry dock - fell about 100 feet onto the floor of the dock. The workers were fatally injured when the boom of the cherry picker suddenly buckled and collapsed. The cherry picker had previously undergone maintenance for corrosion, which had reduced the boom thickness by about 50%. According to the manufacturer's guidelines, it should have been replaced - but was only blasted and painted.


MALFUNCTION OF AMUSEMENT PARK RIDE

07-26-2017:
Columbus, Ohio - At about 7:20 in the evening, the Fire Ball amusement park ride at the Ohio State Fair malfunctioned, throwing a number of riders approximately 20 feet to the ground. A representative of the manufacturer stated that excessive corrosion significantly reduced the wall thickness of a support beam, which led to the malfunction of the ride. There was 1 fatality and 7 injuries.


IN-FLIGHT ENGINE SHUTDOWN


05-20-2017:
Near Los Angeles, California - About 2 hours after departing from LAX - en route to Melbourne, Australia - the crew of Qantas Flight QF94 increased thrust in order to climb from 32,000 to 34,000 feet. The flight crew heard a loud bang, and the aircraft experienced an unusual vibration. It was observed that the thrust of the No. 4 engine was much lower than the other 3 engines. The flight crew also received multiple calls from the cabin crew reporting an unusual vibration. In some cases, sparks and flames were also seen. The No. 4 engine was subsequently turned off, and a fire retardant agent was discharged. The flight crew declared a PAN (an internationally recognized radio call announcing an urgent condition which concerns the safety of an aircraft or its occupants - but the flight crew does not require immediate assistance). The decision was made to return to LAX - approximately 2 hours away. The aircraft jettisoned fuel over water, and subsequently landed safely at LAX. Inspection of engine No. 4 revealed internally-corroded low-pressure turbine blades. The corrosion lead to fatigue cracking and subsequent release of blade shroud debris, which caused significant downstream engine damage. The corrosion resulted from chemical residue in the hollow blades. These residual chemicals were from cleaning operations during the last service. There were no injuries or fatalities.


CRUDE OIL LEAK

03-20-2017:
Edmonton, Alberta (CANADA) - At about 2:45 in the afternoon, traces of crude oil were seen on the surface of a creek running through the North Terminal of Enbridge Pipelines Inc. (east of Edmonton). The leak occurred when a tank's ball valve failed and released oil into the tank's secondary containment berm. The berm's sluice gate could not achieve a proper seal as a result of corrosion. There were no fatalities or injuries.


FEDEX CARGO JET - MCDONNELL DOUGLAS MD-10-10F


10-28-2016: Fort Lauderdale, Florida - After landing at Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport (KFLL), a FedEx cargo jet experienced a left main landing gear failure. As a result of the accident, the left wing caught fire and subsequently exploded. The flight crew were able to evacuate successfully. Although the first officer was not injured, the captain sustained minor injuries while evacuating the airplane. The MD-10-10F was damaged beyond repair. The NTSB determined that the probable cause was due to fatigue cracking, which had initiated at a corrosion pit.


RUPTURE OF AN UNDERGROUND TRANSMISSION PIPELINE


10-17-2016: Near Tekamah, Nebraska - At approximately 9:00 in the evening, an 8-inch pipeline ruptured and released 108,654 gallons of liquid anhydrous ammonia. The ammonia vaporized and produced a toxic plume. There was 1 fatality, 49 people were evacuated, and U.S. Highway 75 was closed for several days. The NTSB determined that the probable cause of the pipeline rupture was corrosion fatigue cracks that developed under a disbonded polyethylene tape coating.


RELEASE OF HAZARDOUS MATERIALS FROM A RAILROAD TANK CAR

08-27-2016:
New Martinsville, West Virginia - At approximately 8:26 in the morning, Tank Car AXLX 1702 experienced a sudden tank shell crack. The crack was about 46 inches long. The accident happened shortly after the tank car was filled with liquefied compressed chlorine. During the following 2.5 hours, the entire 90-ton load was released from the crack - and formed a large vapor cloud. The preliminary NTSB Report does not give a probable cause - but the tank car had received an internal inspection for cleaning, as well as some repairs for corrosion (including cracks). One of the preexisting cracks from the 2010 weld repair is considered to be the origin of the tank shell crack. Chlorine gas is a toxic inhalation hazard which can prove fatal if inhaled or absorbed through the skin. After the accident, 8 people were treated for exposure and released - and 2 people were transported to the hospital.


RUPTURE OF A NATURAL GAS TRANSMISSION PIPELINE

04-29-2016:
East of Delmont, Pennsylvania - At approximately 8:13 in the morning, a 30-inch diameter natural gas transmission pipeline ruptured. The accident happened close to the Delmont Compressor Station. The resulting explosion and fire produced a crater approximately 30 feet wide, 50 feet long, and 12 feet deep - as well as a burn zone with a radius of about one-quarter of a mile. The explosion ejected approximately 24.5 feet of pipe, which landed about 100 feet away. A number of homes were evacuated, 3 homes were damaged, and 1 home was destroyed. Also, one person was seriously injured and sustained third-degree burns over 75% of his body. The accident is being investigated by the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA). The cause of the failure is unknown at this time, and the investigation is ongoing. However, the preliminary investigation has identified evidence of corrosion along two of the circumferential welds: one at the point of failure and another excavated after PHMSA’s response to the Failure Site.

RUPTURE OF A PIPELINE

09-21-2015:
Centerville, Virginia - At approximately 12:03 in the afternoon, an employee of the Bonefish Grill at the Marketplace Shopping Center reported a gasoline odor. Firefighters considered that the leak could be from a nearby buried Colonial Pipeline Company pipeline. This source was confirmed 2 days later by the Colonial Pipeline Company. The NTSB determined that the probable cause was a through-wall corrosion fatigue crack which had developed at a dent in the pipeline - as a result of residual and operational stress and exposure to the underground environment. There were no fatalities or injuries, but the accident-related expenses were estimated to be $16.5 million.


RUPTURE OF A PIPELINE

05-19-2015:
Santa Barbara County, California - The rupture of the pipeline resulted in the release of approximately 1700 - 2500 barrels of heavy crude oil. While the ultimate cause of the rupture has not yet been fully determined, the preliminary findings indicate that severe corrosion was present. The failure occurred when a longitudinal crack developed in the bottom quadrant of the pipeline. The corrosion in that area had degraded the wall thickness by approximately 45%.


HEAVY RAIL

11-17-2014:
Newbury (ENGLAND) - A train traveling at about 110 mph hit a signal post which had fallen across two rail lines. The signal post completely blocked one track, and partially blocked the second track. Corrosion caused an almost complete loss of wall thickness, resulting in the collapse of the hollow signal post. There were no injuries, and the train did not derail. Fortunately, the train was traveling on the line which was only partially blocked. If it had been traveling on the line that was completely blocked, the result could have been much worse.


BAE SYSTEMS JETSTREAM 31

08-15-2014:
Doncaster Sheffield Airport (ENGLAND) - Just after the aircraft touched down, the left landing gear detached from its mounts. The aircraft slid along the runway before coming to rest on the adjacent grass. The preliminary findings indicate that the failure resulted from Stress Corrosion Cracking (SCC). There were no injuries.


CHARLES P. MARKS VILLAGE APARTMENTS

12-17-2013:
Birmingham, Alabama - At 2:29 in the morning, one side of a two-story duplex exploded when natural gas that had entered the apartment ignited. The explosion and subsequent fire destroyed one unit of the duplex and heavily damaged the adjoining unit. In addition, several adjacent homes were damaged. There were 2 non-life-threatening injuries and 2 fatalities. The NTSB concluded that the probable cause of the accident was the release of natural gas through a large crack in the 62-year-old cast iron gas main that resulted when tree growth cracked the heavily corroded pipe.


LEO FRIGO BRIDGE

09-24-2013:
Green Bay, Wisconsin - During the evening, a 400 foot section of the bridge sagged by about 2 feet. The bridge was immediately closed, and there were no injuries. The cause of the accident was the corrosive nature of the soil, which resulted in significant deterioration of a number of underground supports. The weakened supports buckled under the weight of the bridge. The bridge - which carries Interstate 43 over the Fox River - was closed for more than three months. The repairs cost approximately $20 million.


AIRBUS A330-243

06-24-2013:
Manchester Airport (ENGLAND) - During takeoff - at a speed of about 120 mph - the right engine experienced a flash, smoke and loss of power. The crew were able to perform an emergency stop. They were then able to taxi clear of the runway using the left engine for power. Inspection revealed the failure of one of the turbine blades. When the failed blade detached, additional damage to the engine resulted. The failure was due to a High Cycle Fatigue (HCF) crack which propagated from a corrosion initiation site. There were no injuries.


CRUISE SHIP / DREDGE / TOWING VESSEL

04-03-2013:
Mobile, Alabama - The cruise ship Carnival Triumph broke free from her moorings at the BAE Systems shipyard, drifted across the Mobile River, and collided with a dredge and towing vessel. The accident happened when multiple mooring bollards broke away from their mounts during a passing storm. A previous engineering assessment concluded that many fasteners anchoring the bollards to the pier showed evidence of corrosion, and that the remaining capacity of the fasteners was suspect. Subsequent to the accident, a preliminary investigation indicated three types of rupture: brittle fracture - ductile rupture - and severe corrosion prior to ductile rupture. The report indicated that some of the bolts had lost material from corrosion, but considered a more detailed study necessary before saying if the reduced cross-section resulted from corrosion - or high force - or both. There was 1 fatality and 1 injury. In total, the damage was estimated to be more than $2.9 million.


DERAILMENT OF FREIGHT TRAIN 9054

03-05-2013:
Pyramid Hill, Victoria (AUSTRALIA) - At approximately 00:55 AM, the Pacific National grain train 9054 derailed at the O'Tooles Road level crossing near Pyramid Hill in northern Victoria. The derailment took place at a pre-existing fracture of one of the rails. The train had 3 locomotives and 40 loaded grain cars. Of the first 20 cars, 19 derailed. The accident resulted in severe damage to the grain cars, a significant loss of grain, and damage to about 886 feet (270 meters) of track. There were no injuries. The Australian Transport Safety Bureau (ATSB) determined that a small section of one rail had broken away during the passage of a passenger train earlier that night. The fractures in the rail had occurred as a result of the heavily corroded and wasted condition of the rail.


RUPTURE OF A BURIED TWENTY-INCH PIPELINE

12-11-2012:
Sissonville, West Virginia - A 20-inch natural gas transmission pipeline - owned and operated by Columbia Gas Transmission Corporation - ruptured. There were no fatalities or serious injuries. However, the resulting fire caused extensive damage - including the destruction of three houses. The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) determined that the probable main cause was external corrosion due to deteriorated coating and ineffective cathodic protection. Also, the pipeline had not been inspected or tested since 1988. The cost to repair this pipeline was reported to be $2.9 million.


BIG DIG

02-08-2011:
Boston, Massachusetts - A light fixture fell in the travel lanes near the entrance of the "Big Dig" I-93 Northbound Tunnel. It appears that the 110 lb. fixture fell because of the loss of adhesion of paint on some aluminum wire ways. This permitted aluminum components to contact stainless steel, resulting in Galvanic Corrosion. The estimated cost to permanently resolve the problem could approach $200 million.


HAZARDOUS LIQUID PIPELINE RUPTURE

07-25-2010:
Marshall, Michigan - A segment of a 30-inch pipeline ruptured at 5:58 on a Sunday afternoon. The rupture happened during a planned shutdown, and was not discovered for 17 hours. A total of 843,444 gallons of crude oil are estimated to have been released into the surrounding wetlands - Talmadge Creek and the Kalamazoo River. Cleanup costs exceeded $767 million. There were no fatalities, but 320 people had symptoms that were consistent with exposure to crude oil. The NTSB determined that the likely cause of the rupture was Corrosion Fatigue Cracking - which propagated from crack and corrosion defects under a disbonded tape coating.


RUPTURE OF A HIGH-PRESSURE VESSEL

12-07-2009:
Belvidere, Illinois - An explosion at the Nihon Dempa Kogyo (NDK) Co., Ltd. - a synthetic quartz manufacturing facility - reportedly resulted from Stress Corrosion Cracking (SCC) of the walls of a pressure vessel. One member of the public was killed, and another injured.


RUPTURE OF A TEN-INCH PIPE

11-04-2009:
Woods Cross, Utah - A massive explosion at the Silver Eagle Refinery damaged more than 100 homes in a nearby neighborhood. The pipe wall reportedly ruptured as a result of thinning due to corrosion.


RUPTURE OF A NATURAL GAS TRANSMISSION PIPELINE

05-04-2009:
Palm City, Florida - Florida Gas Transmission Company's 18-inch-diameter natural gas pipeline ruptured. The rupture displaced another 106 feet of buried pipeline, and released an estimated 36 million cubic feet of natural gas. Fortunately, the accident occurred in a rural area - and there was no subsequent fire. There were only 3 minor injuries, but damage and clean-up cost was approximately $606,360.00. The cause of the accident was attributed to undetected environmentally-assisted cracking under a disbonded coating.


FREIGHT TRAIN DERAILMENT

01-27-2009:
Stewarton, Ayrshire (SCOTLAND) - The last six cars of a ten-car train derailed as it crossed a metal bridge close to Stewarton. The train was carrying gas oil, diesel, and kerosene to a fuel depot. Four of the derailed cars leaked their cargo into the local environment. There were also localized fires, but fortunately there were no fatalities or injuries. The bridge collapsed under the weight of the train. The collapse occurred as a result of the catastrophic structural failure of some of the main girders. These girders were so weakened by heavy corrosion that they were no longer able to carry the loading from trains that were permitted to cross the bridge.


NATURAL GAS PIPE

03-05-2008:
Plum Borough, Pennsylvania - A natural gas explosion occurred as a result of excavation damage to the protective coating, which made the pipe susceptible to corrosion. There was 1 fatality.


CARGO TANK RUPTURE

08-22-2003:
Middletown, Ohio - An Amerigas cargo tank semitrailer - being filled with anhydrous ammonia - suffered a failure of the front head. Examination revealed one through-wall crack, as well as additional cracks that did not penetrate all the way through the metal. The failure was as a result of Stress Corrosion Cracking (SCC) of the cargo tank. Five people were treated for inhalation injuries and released. The cost to repair or replace damaged equipment was approximately $25,000.00.


CRUISE SHIP

05-25-2003:
Miami, Florida - The cruise ship SS Norway experienced a boiler rupture, which resulted in 8 crew fatalities and 10 serious injuries. The cost was estimated to be somewhere between $20 and $23 million.


SEMITRAILER

01-05-2002:
South Charleston, West Virginia - A cargo tank semitrailer - carrying polypropylene glycol - suffered a catastrophic failure as a result of both fatigue and corrosion. Fortunately, there were no injuries.


HELICOPTER MAIN-ROTOR BLADE FAILURE

10-31-2000:
Mt. Modeste, British Columbia (CANADA) - A helicopter (Prism Helicopters Ltd. - MD Helicopter 369D) lost a section of one of the five main rotor blades during flight. This rendered the helicopter uncontrollable, and the subsequent crash resulted in 1 fatality (the pilot). The accident investigation revealed that there was no bonding on part of the skin of the main rotor blade that cracked. This lack of bonding resulted in the formation of corrosion pits. A crack propagated from one of the pits, causing the loss of a section of the main rotor blade.


NATURAL GAS PIPELINE

08-19-2000:
Carlsbad, New Mexico - A 30-inch natural gas pipeline ruptured, which resulted in 12 fatalities.


TANKER

12-12-1999:
Bay of Biscay (FRANCE) - The tanker - Erika - broke in two and sunk in the Bay of Biscay. This happened while she was laboring in gale force winds approximately 38 miles south of Penmarch, France. There were no human fatalities; however, the oil spill resulted in a major environmental disaster. The principal cause of the accident was significant corrosion of the vessel’s internal structure. Although the severe weather was a contributing factor, it was not considered to have been solely responsible for the accident.


DIESEL FUEL PIPELINE

02-09-1999:
Knoxville, Tennessee - A ruptured Colonial Pipeline Company pipeline released approximately 53,500 gallons of diesel fuel. There were no injuries - but the Tennessee River in the Knoxville area was closed to navigation. This was because containment booms were placed downstream of the accident. Property damage was estimated to be approximately $7 million. The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) concluded that the probable cause of the accident was the rupture of the pipe due to environmentally-assisted cracking.


RAILROAD TANK CAR

10-23-1995:
Bogalusa, Louisiana - A railroad tank car - containing a mixture of nitrogen tetroxide and water - failed and released a large reddish-brown vapor cloud. A total of 4,710 people were treated, and 81 were admitted to hospital.


ATLANTIC SOUTHEAST AIRLINES (ASA)

08-21-1995:
Georgia - While climbing through 18,100 feet, ASA Flight 529 lost a propeller blade. The Embraer turboprop - carrying 26 passengers and 3 crew - crash-landed near Carrollton, Georgia about 31 minutes after departure from Atlanta Hartsfield International Airport. In total there were: 8 minor injuries - 13 serious injuries - and 8 fatalities. The propeller blade fractured as a result of Fatigue Cracking that developed from multiple corrosion pits. The presence of chlorine was detected during laboratory testing. The source of this chlorine was traced back to residual chlorine from a bleached cork that was designed to retain the lead balance wool in the blade's taper bore.


ALOHA AIRLINES

04-28-1988:
Hawaii - Aloha Airlines Flight 243 departed from Hilo early in the afternoon on a routine flight to Honolulu. The vintage Boeing 737 suffered explosive decompression at 24,000 feet. Although there were numerous injuries and 1 fatality, the crew was miraculously able to land the aircraft safely. While there is seldom a single cause for an accident, the investigation concluded that metal fatigue - exacerbated by corrosion - was involved.


TOXIC GAS LEAK

12-02-1984:
Bhopal, Madhya Pradesh (INDIA) - On the evening of Dec. 2nd / morning of Dec. 3rd, tons of gaseous methyl isocyanate (MIC) escaped from a storage tank at the Union Carbide pesticide factory. When water entered the tank, an exothermic reaction occurred. It is likely that it was exacerbated because of the presence of iron corrosion products acting as a catalyst. Ultimately, the tank ruptured - with the subsequent release of toxic gas. Although there is some confusion as to the exact number of fatalities, between 3,000 and 5,000 people died in what is considered by many to be the worst industrial accident ever. Since then, many more are believed to have succumbed to toxic-gas related illnesses.


PROPANE PIPELINE

07-20-1977:
Ruff Creek, Pennsylvania - At 4:30 in the morning, a 12-inch propane pipeline ruptured as a result of Stress Corrosion Cracking (SCC). A flash fire ensued. The fire was approximately 100 yards wide and burned everything in its path for a mile. There were 2 fatalities.


FLIXBOROUGH DISASTER

06-01-1974:
Flixborough, Lincolnshire (ENGLAND) - A massive explosion rocked the Nypro plant at 4:53 on a Saturday afternoon. This explosion was caused by the ignition of a huge vapor cloud formed by the escape of cyclohexane. The explosion and subsequent fires severely damaged the plant, resulting in 28 fatalities and 36 injuries on-site. The areas surrounding the plant were also seriously damaged, and 53 additional off-site injuries were reported. Rescue attempts were hampered by some of the fires which burned for a number of days.

The Flixborough disaster became inevitable in late March, 1974 when one of the reactors in the cyclohexane oxidation train was removed. The removal was necessitated because of the development of a large crack due to Stress Corrosion Cracking (SCC). Metallurgical examination showed that this crack was caused by Nitrate Stress Corrosion resulting from the previous use of nitrate-treated water to cool small cyclohexane leaks. The reactor that was removed was temporarily replaced by an inadequately supported 20-inch diameter by-pass pipe. The by-pass system ruptured on June 1st, releasing the cyclohexane under conditions of high temperature and pressure. The cyclohexane vapor cloud ignited, resulting in the disaster.


RUPTURE OF A NATURAL GAS TRANSMISSION PIPELINE

03-15-1974:
Farmington, New Mexico - At 3:45 in the morning, a 12-inch natural gas pipeline ruptured. The flash weld showed severe Crevice Corrosion. The corrosion reduced the wall thickness and overall strength of the pipe. This caused increased stress in the weld line until it failed by brittle fracture. There were 3 fatalities.


NATURAL GAS EXPLOSION

04-22-1973:
El Paso, Texas - At 6:19 in the morning, a violent explosion destroyed 7 of the 15 units in an apartment complex. The NTSB determined that the probable cause was the accumulation of natural gas, which had leaked primarily from a broken cast-iron reducer - and, to a lesser extent, from two corrosion leaks in the distribution main. There were 7 fatalities and 2 critical injuries.


SILVER BRIDGE

12-15-1967:
West Virginia and Ohio - The Point Pleasant Bridge connecting West Virginia and Ohio (referred to as the Silver Bridge because of the color) collapsed during late afternoon rush-hour traffic. The accident resulted in 46 fatalities and 11 serious injuries. The cause was the failure of one of the suspension eyebars due to Stress Corrosion Cracking (SCC).
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