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Yes, the PSBs are an embedded sub-section of the main document. Remnant files are not necessarily a sign of crashes. PS is simply not keeping track of these files nor are other programs. It's more a case of Windows' not having a smart way of dealing with this stuff. Just delete them when your projects are done.
The subject line is the primary question.
Yes, a Smart Object is a container for an embedded file such as a PSB (Photoshop Large Document), PSD, TIFF, PDF, EPS, etc.
3D material textures are embedded in a document by using the SO mechanism.
PSB files are stored (in the Windows OS) in the User's Temp folder. Why?
When you choose to edit a SO, Photoshop writes the SO's embedded file to a temporary file and opens that into a new window.
My Temp folder has a dozen or so PSB files with various dates. Is there a reason they don't go away when a PSD file is saved? Vestiges of PS crashes?
Photoshop normally will delete the temporary file when the master document (the one containing the SO) is closed. You can observe the creation and deletion of these files if you wish. A crash before closing the master document should be the only reason that there is a stray PSB in Temp.
Thanks to both Conroy and Mylenium for their explanations.