SYMPOSIA PAPER Published: 01 January 1997

An Overview of Fatigue and Other Metallurgical Failure Modes and Analysis at the Kennedy Space Center


NASA's Kennedy Space Center (KSC) utilizes a wide variety of materials in many different applications. A partial list of these materials includes various series of carbon steel, stainless steel, and aluminum. The failure modes encountered include Stress Corrosion Cracking (SCC), Hydrogen Assisted Cracking (HAC), overload, and fatigue. Failure analyses exemplifying these materials, applications, and modes are routinely performed utilizing stereomicroscopy, scanning electron microscopic fractographic analysis, and metallography. The analyses were performed on both NASA and Air Force flight hardware components, as well as components from the External Tank (ET), the Solid Rocket Boosters (SRB's), and Ground Support Equipment (GSE).

Author Information

McDanels, SJ
Materials Science Division, NASA, Kennedy Space Center, Fl
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Developed by Committee: G04
Pages: 42–52
DOI: 10.1520/STP12043S
ISBN-EB: 978-0-8031-5372-1
ISBN-13: 978-0-8031-2401-1