Research Papers: Codes and Standards

J. Pressure Vessel Technol. 2017;139(5):051101-051101-9. doi:10.1115/1.4036919.

The linear matching method (LMM) subroutines and plug-in tools for structural integrity assessment are now in extensive use in industries for the design and routine assessment of power plant components. This paper presents a detailed review and case study of the current state-of-the art LMM direct methods applied to the structural integrity assessment. The focus is on the development and use of the linear matching method framework (LMMF) on a wide range of crucial aspects for the power industry. The LMMF is reviewed to show a wide range of capabilities of the direct methods under this framework, and the basic theory background is also presented. Different structural integrity aspects are covered including the calculation of shakedown, ratchet, and creep rupture limits. Furthermore, the crack initiation assessments of an un-cracked body by the LMM are shown for cases both with and without the presence of a creep dwell during the cyclic loading history. Finally, an overview of the in house developed LMM plug-in is given, presenting the intuitive graphical user interface (GUI) developed. The efficiency and robustness of these direct methods in calculating the aforementioned quantities are confirmed through a numerical case study, which is a semicircular notched (Bridgman notch) bar. A two-dimensional axisymmetric finite element model is adopted, and the notched bar is subjected to both cyclic and constant axial mechanical loads. For the crack initiation assessment, different cyclic loading conditions are evaluated to demonstrate the impact of the different load types on the structural response. The impact of creep dwell is also investigated to show how this parameter is capable of causing in some cases a dangerous phenomenon known as creep ratcheting. All the results in the case study demonstrate the level of simplicity of the LMMs but at the same time accuracy, efficiency, and robustness over the more complicated and inefficient incremental finite element analyses.

Topics: Creep , Stress , Cycles , Rupture
Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster

Research Papers: Design and Analysis

J. Pressure Vessel Technol. 2017;139(5):051201-051201-8. doi:10.1115/1.4036853.

In this paper, a cold forming process is used where the connection between a pipe and a flange is created by means of radially expanding tool segments inside the pipe. The method is investigated with two purposes, to set up a robust procedure for the process that allows for connections to be made on site, and to set up finite element (FE) simulations that can capture the forces and deformations when pulling the pipe axially out of the flange. Experimental data and FE simulations are used to describe and understand the forces and deformations during the connection process. The rapid increase in radial stiffness experienced when the pipe comes in full circumferential contact with the flange is identified as the best end-of-process indicator. Also, experimental data and FE simulations are used to predict the axial load capacity of a pipe flange connection, and the FE model is utilized in designing the appropriate ridge height of the tool segments.

Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster
J. Pressure Vessel Technol. 2017;139(5):051202-051202-7. doi:10.1115/1.4037192.

Bolted connections inserting gaskets such as box-shape flange connections have been widely used in mechanical structures, nuclear and chemical industry, and so on. They are usually used under internal pressure. In designing the box-shape flange connections with gaskets under internal pressure, it is important to clarify the gasket stress distribution for evaluating the sealing performance of these connections. However, no research in which the sealing performance of these connections is examined under internal pressure has been carried out. Thus, the design for box-shape connection such as thickness of flange cover, number of bolts, gasket width, and so on is not clarified. In this paper, the contact gasket stresses of these connections under internal pressure are analyzed using the finite element method (FEM), taking into account a hysteresis in the stress–displacement curve of the gasket. And then, using the contact gasket stress distributions obtained from FE analysis and the relationship between gasket stress and leak rate obtained from a gasket sealing test (JIS B2490), a method for estimating an amount of leakage is examined. Leakage tests were also conducted to measure an amount of gas leakage using an actual box-shape flange connection with a gasket. The estimated results are in reasonable agreement with the experimental results. In addition, the effect of gasket width, flange cover thickness, and flange cover material is examined on the sealing performances of box-shape flange connections under internal pressure. The effects of the above factors are discussed on the sealing performance in designing box-shape flange connections.

Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster
J. Pressure Vessel Technol. 2017;139(5):051203-051203-8. doi:10.1115/1.4037043.

The paper describes burst pressures of eight mild steel toriconical shells and proposes a criterion for their ultimate loss of structural integrity based on true stress–strain material relationship. All test models were initially loaded by quasi-static external pressure until they buckled/collapsed. They were subsequently internally pressurized until burst. The details about the numerical process, which simulates the two-stage loading process, i.e., starting with buckling by external pressure being followed by reloading using internal pressure for up to the burst, are given. The paper concentrates on numerical procedure, which allows computation of the burst pressure using extensive plastic straining. It is shown that burst pressures based on the excessive plastic straining are closer to reality (and experiments) than those based on plastic instability.

Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster
J. Pressure Vessel Technol. 2017;139(5):051204-051204-8. doi:10.1115/1.4037070.

Gasketed flange joints are widely used in pressure vessels and piping systems. They are subjected to bending load due to differential thermal expansion, wind load, self-weight, etc., in addition to assembly and internal fluid load. Most of the flange designs are based on equivalent pressure method to include the effect of external bending loads. The behavior of gasketed flange joint is complex due to the nonlinear hysteretic behavior of gasket material and contact interfaces between joint members. It becomes more complex when the joint is subjected to bending load at elevated temperatures. In the present work, performance of a flange joint has been studied under internal pressure and external bending load at elevated temperatures. A 3D finite element model is developed, considering the nonlinearities in the joint due to gasket material and contact between its members along with their temperature-dependent material properties. The performance of joint under different bolt preloads, internal fluid pressures, and temperatures is studied. Flange joint with two gaskets (twin-gasketed flange joint, TGJ) placed concentric is also analyzed. The results from finite element analysis (FEA) are validated using four-point bending test on gasketed flange joint. The sealing and strength criteria are considered to determine the maximum allowable bending moment at different internal fluid temperatures, for both single- and twin-gasketed flange joints with spiral wound gasket. Twin gasket is able to withstand higher bending moment without leakage compared to single gasket. Results show that the allowable load on flange joint depends on operating temperature and gasket configuration.

Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster
J. Pressure Vessel Technol. 2017;139(5):051205-051205-7. doi:10.1115/1.4037046.

In this paper, line- and ring-notched small punch test (SPT) specimens were studied; a three-dimensional (3D) model of a ring-notched SPT specimen was established using the contour integral method, and the validity of the model was verified using ring-notched specimens. The stress and strain fields were analyzed using numerical simulations of a ring-notched SPT specimen, and the change in the stress gradient during deformation was considered. To verify the finite element model, the results of the numerical simulations were compared with those of three-point bending tests and a Gurson–Tvergaard–Needleman (GTN) model. Compared with the line-notched specimen, the ring-notched specimen was more suitable for notch propagation analysis and fracture toughness evaluation. The results of the numerical simulations were in good agreement with those of the experiments, which showed that the numerical model used in this study was correct. For a notch that initiated when the load reached its maximum value, the value of the J integral was 335 × 10−6 kJ/mm2, and at time 0.85Pmax, the value of the J integral was 201 × 10−6 kJ/mm2, and the difference from the result of the three-point bending test was 14.4%. For a notch that initiated during the stretching deformation stage, the relevant fracture toughness was 225 × 10−6 kJ/mm2, and the difference from the result of the three-point bending test was 3%.

Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster
J. Pressure Vessel Technol. 2017;139(5):051206-051206-6. doi:10.1115/1.4037195.

In this paper, the exact solution of the equation of transient heat conduction in two dimensions for a hollow cylinder made of functionally graded material (FGM) and piezoelectric layers is developed. Temperature distribution, as function of radial and circumferential directions and time, is analytically obtained for different layers, using the method of separation of variables and generalized Bessel function. The FGM properties are assumed to depend on the variable r, and they are expressed as power functions of r.

Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster
J. Pressure Vessel Technol. 2017;139(5):051207-051207-19. doi:10.1115/1.4037444.

In this paper, an analytical method is developed to obtain the solution for the two-dimensional (2D) (r,θ) transient thermal and mechanical stresses in a hollow sphere made of functionally graded (FG) material and piezoelectric layers. The FGM properties vary continuously across the thickness, according to the power functions of radial direction. The temperature distribution as a function of radial and circumferential directions and time is obtained solving the energy equation, using the method of separation of variables and Legendre series. The Navier equations are solved analytically using the Legendre polynomials and the system of Euler differential equations.

Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster

Research Papers: Fluid-Structure Interaction

J. Pressure Vessel Technol. 2017;139(5):051301-051301-10. doi:10.1115/1.4037263.

The paper presents results of an experimental study on fluid elastic instability and vortex shedding in plain and finned arrays exposed to water cross flow. The parallel triangular array with cantilever end condition is considered for the study. Pitch ratios considered are 2.1 and 2.6 while fin densities considered are 4 fpi (fins per inch) and 10 fpi. The results for critical velocity at instability for two finned tube arrays are presented. Apart from results on fluid elastic vibration behavior, extensive results on vortex shedding are also presented to study the phenomenon in tube arrays subjected to water cross flow. The test parameters measured are water flow rate, natural frequency, and vibration amplitudes of the tubes. The datum case results were first obtained by testing plain arrays with pitch ratios 2.1 and 2.6. This was then followed by experiments with finned arrays with pitch ratios 2.1 and 2.6, and each with two different fin densities. The higher pitch ratios typical of chemical process industries resulted in the delayed instability threshold due to weak hydrodynamic coupling between the neighboring tubes. The results indicated that finned arrays are more stable in water cross flow compared to plain arrays. The Strouhal numbers corresponding to small peaks observed before fluid elastic instability are computed and compared with the expected ones according to Owen's hypothesis. It was concluded that peaks observed are attributed to vortex shedding observed for all the arrays tested in water.

Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster
J. Pressure Vessel Technol. 2017;139(5):051302-051302-9. doi:10.1115/1.4037443.

A water hydraulic throttle valve is often used to control the water flow in piping systems. When the water flows through the valve port, cavitation occurs frequently because of the high pressure drop across the valve. The cavitation can lead to wear, vibration and noise. To solve the problem, a modified throttle valve with a drainage device is proposed to suppress the cavitation. A contrasting test was conducted to analyze the effect of drainage device on the cavitation suppression. For evaluating the influence of inlet pressure and outlet pressure on the ability of the drainage device to suppress cavitation, the power spectrum density (PSD), normalized intensity, and cavitation suppression coefficient (CSC) of dynamic pressure are introduced. The results indicate that adopting the drainage device is a feasible method to suppress cavitation. In addition, the inlet pressure and outlet pressure have a great influence on the capacity for cavitation suppression of the drainage device (CCSDD) by changing the intensity of cavitation. When the inlet pressure is at 4.0 MPa, the cavitation is generated and the CCSDD is weak. With increasing inlet pressure, the intensity of cavitation and CCSDD is gradually enhanced. But when the inlet pressure increases to 7.0 MPa, the cavitation is saturated and the cavitation suppression by the drainage device begins to decrease. On the other hand, the effect of cavitation suppression decreases significantly when the outlet pressure increases from 1.4 MPa to 3.8 MPa.

Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster
J. Pressure Vessel Technol. 2017;139(5):051303-051303-9. doi:10.1115/1.4037637.

Tube bank heat exchangers are designed to efficiently transfer heat between two fluids. Shapes and arrangements of tubes in heat exchangers have significant effects in heat transfer and pressure drop of fluid. In this study, the three-dimensional (3D) numerical investigation is performed to determine heat transfer coefficients, friction factor, and performance evaluation criteria (PEC) of cam-shaped tube banks in aerodynamic and inverse aerodynamic directions in the cross flow air and compared with those of elliptical tube banks in heat exchanger. The arrangements of tubes are aligned and staggered with longitudinal pitch of 44.88 mm and transverse pitch of 28.05 mm. Reynolds number in the range of 11,500–18,500 was used, and the tube surface temperature was fixed and considered 352 K. Results indicate the superior heat transfer of elliptical tube bank over the cam-shaped tube banks in inverse aerodynamic and aerodynamic directions in both arrangements. Moreover, the PEC of the cam-shaped tube banks with inverse aerodynamic and aerodynamic directions and elliptical tube bank in aligned arrangement are approximately 1.4, 1.1, and 1.6, respectively. The obtained results for staggered arrangements are also 1.5, 1.3, and 1.8, respectively.

Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster

Research Papers: Materials and Fabrication

J. Pressure Vessel Technol. 2017;139(5):051401-051401-6. doi:10.1115/1.4037121.

The design of a gun barrel aims at maximizing its firing power, determined by its safe maximum pressure (SMP)—the maximal allowed firing pressure—which is considerably enhanced by inducing a favorable residual stress field through the barrel's wall commonly by the autofrettage process. Presently, there are two distinct processes: hydrostatic and swage autofrettage. In both processes, the barrel's material is fully or partially plastically deformed. Recently, a 3D computer code has been developed, which finally enables a realistic simulation of both swage and hydraulic autofrettage processes, using the experimentally measured stress–strain curve and incorporating the Bauschinger effect. This code enables a detailed analysis of all the factors relating to the final SMP of a barrel and can be used to establish the optimal process for any gun-barrel design. A major outcome of this analysis was the fact that the SMP of an autofrettaged barrel is dictated by the detailed plastic characteristics on the barrel's material. The main five plastic parameters of the material that have been identified are: the exact (zero offset) value of the yield stress, the universal plastic curve in both tension and compression, the Bauschinger effect factor (BEF) curve, and the elastic–plastic transition range (EPTR). A detailed comparison between three similar barrel materials points to the fact that the major parameter determining the barrel's SMP is the yield stress of the material and that the best way to determine it is by the newly developed “zero offset” method. All other four parameters are found to have a greater influence on the SMP of a hydraulically autofrettaged barrel than on a swaged one. The simplicity of determining the zero offset yield stress will enable its use in any common elastic and elastoplastic problem instead of the present 0.1% or 0.2% yield stress methods.

Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster
J. Pressure Vessel Technol. 2017;139(5):051402-051402-9. doi:10.1115/1.4037002.

The stress states of elbow and tee pipes are complex and different from those of straight pipes. The low-cycle fatigue lives of elbows and tees cannot be predicted by Manson's universal slope method; however, a revised universal method proposed by Takahashi et al. was able to predict with high accuracy the low-cycle fatigue lives of elbows under combined cyclic bending and internal pressure. The objective of this study was to confirm the validity of the revised universal slope method for the prediction of low-cycle fatigue behaviors of elbows and tees of various shapes and dimensions under conditions of in-plane bending and internal pressure. Finite element analysis (FEA) was carried out to simulate the low-cycle fatigue behaviors observed in previous experimental studies of elbows and tees. The low-cycle fatigue behaviors, such as the area of crack initiation, the direction of crack growth, and the fatigue lives, obtained by the analysis were compared with previously obtained experimental data. Based on this comparison, the revised universal slope method was found to accurately predict the low-cycle fatigue behaviors of elbows and tees under internal pressure conditions regardless of differences in shape and dimensions.

Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster
J. Pressure Vessel Technol. 2017;139(5):051403-051403-14. doi:10.1115/1.4037198.

In order to ensure safe operation and structural integrity of pipelines and piping systems subjected to extreme loading conditions, it is often necessary to strengthen critical pipe components. One method to strengthen pipe components is the use of composite materials. The present study is aimed at investigating the mechanical response of pipe elbows, wrapped with carbon fiber-reinforced plastic (CFRP) material, and subjected to severe cyclic loading that leads to low-cycle fatigue (LCF). In the first part of the paper, a set of LCF experiments on reinforced and nonreinforced pipe bend specimens are described focusing on the effects of CFRP reinforcement on the number of cycles to failure. The experimental work is supported by finite element analysis presented in the second part of the paper, in an attempt to elucidate the failure mechanism. For describing the material nonlinearities of the steel pipe, an efficient cyclic-plasticity material model is employed, capable of describing both the initial yield plateau of the stress–strain curve and the Bauschinger effect characterizing reverse plastic loading conditions. The results from the numerical models are compared with the experimental data, showing an overall good comparison. Furthermore, a parametric numerical analysis is conducted to examine the effect of internal pressure on the structural behavior of nonreinforced and reinforced elbows, subjected to severe cyclic loading.

Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster
J. Pressure Vessel Technol. 2017;139(5):051404-051404-7. doi:10.1115/1.4037446.

Predictions as to 105 h creep rupture strength of grade 91 steel have been made recently. The predicted values are examined with long-term creep rupture data of the steel. Three creep rupture databases were used in the predictions: data of tube products of grade 91 steel reported in National Institute for Materials Science (NIMS) Creep Data Sheet (NIMS T91 database), data of T91 steel collected in Japan, and data of grade 91 steel collected by an American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) code committee. Short-term creep rupture data points were discarded by the following criteria for minimizing overestimation of the strength: selecting long-term data points with low activation energy (multiregion analysis), selecting data points crept at stresses lower than a half of proof stress (σ0.2/2 criterion), and selecting data points longer than 1000 h (cutoff time of 1000 h). In the case of NIMS T91 database, a time–temperature parameter (TTP) analysis of a dataset selected by multiregion analysis can properly describe the long-term data points and gives the creep rupture strength of 68 MPa at 600 °C. However, TTP analyses of datasets selected by σ0.2/2 criterion and cutoff time of 1000 h from the same database overestimate the data points and predict the strength over 80 MPa. Datasets selected by the same criterion from the three databases provide similar values of the strength. The different criteria for data selection have more substantial effects on predicted values of the strength of the steel than difference of the databases.

Topics: Creep , Databases , Rupture , Steel
Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster
J. Pressure Vessel Technol. 2017;139(5):051405-051405-8. doi:10.1115/1.4037636.

A lot of failures have been generated in the tube-to-tubesheet joints of a shell and tube heat exchanger, which are greatly affected by the weld residual stresses. In order to ensure the structure integrity, it is very important to predict and decrease the residual stress in the joint between tube and tubesheet. In this paper, a combination of X-ray diffraction and finite element method (FEM) was used to analysis the residual stress distribution in the tube-to-tubesheet joints. The formation mechanism of residual stress before and after cosmetic welding was explicated. The effects of heat input and welding sequence on residual stresses were studied. The results show that the large tensile residual stresses which are in excess of yield strength, are generated in the tube-to-tubesheet joints. The residual stresses at the bottom surface and the edge of the tubesheet are relatively small even become compressive. The formation of the weld residual stress is mainly induced by the cosmetic welding rather than the back welding. The residual stresses increase as the heat input increases. The duplex welding method is recommended to decrease the residual stress.

Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster

Research Papers: Operations, Applications and Components

J. Pressure Vessel Technol. 2017;139(5):051601-051601-9. doi:10.1115/1.4037001.

During a reaction-initiated accident (RIA) or loss of coolant accident (LOCA), passive external-cooling of the reactor lower head is a viable approach for the in-vessel retention (IVR) of Corium; while this concept can certainly be applied to new constructions, it may also be viable for operational systems with existing cavities below the reactor. However, a boiling crisis will inevitably develop on the reactor lower head owing to the occurrence of critical heat flux (CHF) that could reduce the decay heat removal capability as the vapor phase impedes continuous boiling. Fortunately, this effect can be minimized for both new and existing reactors through the use of a cold-spray-delivered, microporous coating that facilitates the formation of vapor microjets from the reactor surface. The microporous coatings were created by first spraying a binary mixture with the sacrificial material then removed via etching. Subsequent quenching experiments on uncoated and coated hemispherical surfaces showed that local CHF values for the coated vessel were consistently higher relative to the bare surface. Moreover, it was observed for both coated and uncoated surfaces that the local rate of boiling and local CHF limit varied appreciably along the outer surface. Nevertheless, the results of this intriguing study clearly show that the use of cold spray coatings could enhance the local CHF limit for downward facing boiling by more than 88%. Moreover, the cold-spray process is amenable to coating the lower heads of operating reactors.

Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster
J. Pressure Vessel Technol. 2017;139(5):051602-051602-10. doi:10.1115/1.4037264.

This paper presents the estimation of the reliability levels associated with a cracked pipe found acceptable as per the failure assessment diagram (FAD) based acceptance criteria of ASME Section XI, Appendix H. This acceptance criterion is built on the concepts of fracture mechanics. The parameters which enter the acceptance criteria are piping geometry, applied loading, crack size, and the material properties (tensile and fracture). Most of these parameters are known to exhibit uncertainty in their values. The FAD used also has an associated modeling bias. The code addresses these uncertainties by providing a factor of safety on the applied load. The use of a common factor of safety for a variety of pipe sizes, crack configuration, load combination, and materials may not ensure consistent level of safety associated with the piping component being evaluated. This level of safety can be evaluated by using structural reliability concepts. This paper analyzes the reliability level which is achieved if a cracked pipe passes the acceptance criteria prescribed by the code. The reliability is evaluated for a range of pipe and crack geometry, different load combination, and different materials using Monte Carlo method. The realistic assessment of reliability also requires the assessment of modeling bias associated with the FAD. This bias is also evaluated using the results from the published fracture experiments.

Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster

Research Papers: Pipeline Systems

J. Pressure Vessel Technol. 2017;139(5):051701-051701-7. doi:10.1115/1.4037120.

Axial pipeline defects are detectable from torsional guided wave reflections through 90 deg elbows. This paper demonstrates that detection of localized damage in carbon steel pipes with a so-called standard long and very long radius elbow is possible using a single permanently installed source–receiver pair. We use dispersion imaging to determine why this is not possible in a short radius elbow pipe. Although the remote damage is detected in a standard short radius bend pipe, there is not enough signal to detect localized damage. Since pipeline bends are normally of at least standard long radius, the acoustical behavior is similar to that previously determined in straight pipes. The reflective method can thus be applied fruitfully to monitor structural health beyond industrial pipeline bends.

Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster
J. Pressure Vessel Technol. 2017;139(5):051702-051702-7. doi:10.1115/1.4037045.

Accurate prediction of the burst pressure is indispensible for the engineering design and integrity assessment of the oil and gas pipelines. A plenty of analytical and empirical equations have been proposed to predict the burst pressures of the pipelines; however, it is difficult to accurately predict the burst pressures and evaluate the accuracy of these equations. In this paper, a failure window method was presented to predict the burst pressure of the pipes. First, the security of the steel pipelines under the internal pressure can be assessed. And then the accuracy of the previous analytical and empirical equations can also be generally evaluated. Finally, the effect of the wall thinning of the pipes on the failure window was systemically investigated. The results indicate that it is extremely formidable to establish an equation to predict the burst pressure with a high accuracy and a broad application, while it is feasible to create a failure window to determine the range of the dangerous internal pressure. Calculations reveal that some predictions of the burst pressure equations like Faupel, Soderberg, Maximum stress, and Nadai (1) are overestimated to some extent; some like ASME, maximum shear stress, Turner, Klever and Zhu–Leis and Baily–Nadai (2) basically reliable; the rest like API and Nadai (3) slightly conservative. With the wall thinning of the steel pipelines, the failure window is gradually lowered and narrowed.

Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster

Research Papers: Seismic Engineering

J. Pressure Vessel Technol. 2017;139(5):051801-051801-12. doi:10.1115/1.4036916.

In this paper, performance criteria for the seismic design of industrial liquid storage tanks and piping systems are proposed, aimed at introducing those industrial components into a performance-based design (PBD) framework. Considering “loss of containment” as the ultimate damage state, the proposed limit states are quantified in terms of local quantities obtained from a simple and efficient earthquake analysis. Liquid storage tanks and the corresponding principal failure modes (elephant's foot buckling, roof damage, base plate failure, anchorage failure, and nozzle damage) are examined first. Subsequently, limit states for piping systems are presented in terms of local strain at specific piping components (elbows, Tees, and nozzles) against ultimate strain capacity (tensile and compressive) and low-cycle fatigue. Modeling issues for liquid storage tanks and piping systems are also discussed, compared successfully with available experimental data, and simple and efficient analysis tools are proposed, toward reliable estimates of local strain demand. Using the above reliable numerical models, the proposed damage states are examined in two case studies: (a) a liquid storage tank and (b) a piping system, both located in areas of high seismicity.

Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster


J. Pressure Vessel Technol. 2017;139(5):057001-057001-1. doi:10.1115/1.4037201.

This erratum corrects errors in the originally published paper.

Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster

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