STP827

    An Examination of Cleaning Techniques for Post-Failure Analysis

    Published: Jan 1984


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    Abstract

    A study has been made of the effectiveness of cleaning techniques for post-failure analysis. Air blast, organic solvents, and repeated stripping of cellulose acetate replicas (benign techniques) are useful in removing loosely adhering particles, grease, and oils. More aggressive removal techniques, however, are required for tightly bonded oxidation and corrosion products. A solution containing Alconox cleaning detergent was examined and found to remove most corrosion debris from fracture surface regions associated with cleavage and intergranular and microvoid coalescence fracture micromechanisms. In some instances, however, indications of surface degradation and etching were apparent which resulted from excessive exposure time in the cleaning solution. Degradation and etching led to complications in the interpretation of these fracture surface markings. Fatigue fracture surfaces exhibited the poorest response to the benign cleaning techniques of all fracture modes examined. Thus it was not possible to reveal typical fatigue markings (for example, striations) after specimen exposure to the Alconox solution.

    Keywords:

    failure analysis, fractography, cleaning techniques, corrosion, cleaning agents, replication, fracture, steel


    Author Information:

    Vecchio, RS
    Swiss Aluminium Ltd. Co. Fellow, and New Jersey Zinc Professor of Metallurgy, Lehigh University, Bethlehem, Pa.

    Hertzberg, RW
    Swiss Aluminium Ltd. Co. Fellow, and New Jersey Zinc Professor of Metallurgy, Lehigh University, Bethlehem, Pa.


    Paper ID: STP37116S

    Committee/Subcommittee: E08.08

    DOI: 10.1520/STP37116S


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