People and Stress Corrosion Cracking
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Several years ago, before we renovated the house, my grandson, Austin, came bounding upstairs to inform us that there was a leak in the laundry room. Why he was in the laundry room is a question yet to be answered. Pre-teen children typically avoid any association with household chores, but Austin went into the laundry room and discovered the leak: a crack in a brass valve that attached the pressure tank to the incoming line from the well. The valve had been in service for several years before the crack was discovered. We replaced the brass valve and thought very little about it, except that I set it aside, planning to take it to a Materials Camp and have a group of students determine the cause of failure. The valve remains on a shelf with the cause of failure yet to be determined. I would guess that it failed by stress corrosion cracking, even though a failure analyst shouldn’t guess.
The synergistic effects that lead to stress corrosion cracking include the combined actions of the...