Practical Failure Analysis

, Volume 3, Issue 5, pp 33–42 | Cite as

Failures of engineering components due to environmentally assisted cracking

  • S. P. Lynch
Peer Reviewed Articles


Examples of failures of engineering components by stress-corrosion cracking, corrosion-fatigue, hydrogen embrittlement, liquid-metal embrittlement, and solid-metal embrittlement are described. Causes of failure include inappropriate materials selection or heat treatment, poor design, and high residual stresses. The examples illustrate how fractographic characteristics, analysis of films and deposits on fracture surfaces, and other factors help in diagnosing the modes and causes of failures, thereby enabling the appropriate remedial measures to be taken.


environmentally assisted cracking films and deposits fractography materials selection residual stress 


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. 1.
    Failure Analysis and Prevention, vol. 11,ASM Handbook, ASM International, 1986.Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    S.P. Lynch: “Failures of Structures and Components by Environmentally Assisted Cracking,”Eng. Fail. Anal., 1994,1, pp. 77–90.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. 3.
    H.J. Kolkman, G.A. Kool, and R.J.H. Wanhill: “Aircraft Crash Caused by Stress Corrosion Cracking,” ASME Paper 94-GT-298,International Gas Turbine and Aeroengine Congress and Exposition, The Hague, Netherlands, 13–16 June, 1992.Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    A.F. Cox, Aeronautical Research Laboratory, Australia, internal memo, 1984.Google Scholar
  5. 5.
    W.J. Pollock: “Assessment of the Degree of Hydrogen Embrittlement Produced in High-Strength Steel by Plating and Baking Processes Using Slow Strain Rate Testing,”Hydrogen Embrittlement: Prevention and Control, L. Raymond, ed., ASTM STP 962, 1988, pp. 68–80.Google Scholar
  6. 6.
    S.P. Lynch, Defence Science and Technology Organisation, Australia, unpublished.Google Scholar
  7. 7.
    S.P. Lynch: “Metal Induced Embrittlement of Materials,”Mater. Charact., 1992,28, pp. 279–289.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. 8.
    J.J. Lewandowski, Y.S. Kim, and N.J.H. Holroyd: “Lead-Induced Solid Metal Embrittlement of an Excess Silicon Al-Mg-Si Alloy at Temperatures of −4°C to 80°C,”Metall. Trans. A, 1992,23A, pp. 1679–1689.Google Scholar
  9. 9.
    J.W.H. Price, R.N. Ibrahim, and D. Ischenko: “Sustained Load Crack Growth Leading to Failure of Aluminium Gas Cylinders in Traffic,”Eng. Fail. Anal., 1997,4, pp. 259–270.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. 10.
    R. Poole: “A Summary Report of SCUBA Cylinder Explosions and the Possible Effects on a Filling Station,”Professional Diver Journal (Australia), 1995,1, pp. 8–9.Google Scholar
  11. 11.
    S.P. Lynch: “Environmentally Assisted Cracking: Overview of Evidence for an Adsorption-Induced Localised-Slip Process,”Acta Metall., 1988,36, pp. 2639–2661.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© ASM International - The Materials Information Society 2003

Authors and Affiliations

  • S. P. Lynch
    • 1
  1. 1.Defence Science and Technology OrganisationMelbourneAustralia

Personalised recommendations