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The authors enumerate the factors which appear, from their observations and practical experience of failure of aircraft components in Great Britain, to be responsible for causing a metal or alloy to fail by stress corrosion.
The essential conditions for promoting failure by stress corrosion are: (1) tensile stress at the surface of the component, (either residual or applied), and (2) an attacking medium that may be a solution or a liquid metal. Particular attacking agents are effective only on certain metals. In all instances of stress-corrosion failure experienced, cracking of an intercrystalline form has occurred and examples of such failure in aluminum alloy, steel and copper alloys are described and illustrated. The relation between microstructure and stress corrosion is mentioned and methods of investigating the susceptibility to stress-corrosion failure of metallic materials are described. The precautions to be taken in selecting materials for particular aircraft components and the importance of adequate protection against chemical attack are considered. The authors have given a factual survey of stress corrosion and have made no attempt to advance any scientific explanation of the phenomenon.
George, C. W.