The objective of this work was to develop and demonstrate a computer data acquisition system to monitor the stress corrosion cracking of laboratory cantilever specimens. Present methods using optical techniques require long time periods to establish the crack growth rate when low crack growth rates are present. These methods also give very limited data and do not show clearly the dependence of the crack growth rate on stress and atmospheric variables. These methods also are incapable of resolving irregularities in the crack growth rate that would exist if oxide-forming and cracking mechanisms were applicable in the material test atmosphere system. The major conclusion of this work is that a computer data acquisition system can be used to evaluate low crack growth rates in relatively short time periods as well as to evaluate the magnitude of variations in crack growth rate about a mean value. Other advantages are that the specimen can be completely enclosed to better control the test atmosphere, other variables like temperature and corrosion potentials can be easily monitored, and a permanent magnetic tape record can be produced for later reanalysis.
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