Published researches relating to the effects of surface conditions on the plastic flow of metals are briefly reviewed. Experiments are described in which the effects of surface conditions on secondary creep rates for zinc and “A” nickel were investigated. Both single-crystal and polycrystalline zinc were studied. For the single-crystal zinc specimens a marked increase in the resistance to creep was found when the surface layer contained copper. No such effect was found for polycrystalline zinc. Copper in the surface layer affected the temperature dependence of steady-state creep for single-crystal but not for polycrystalline zinc. The resistance to high-temperature creep of “A” nickel was found to be much greater in air than it was in hydrogen. The presence of tungsten on the surface of “A” nickel, however, had no effect upon the creep rate of this material. The temperature dependence of the steady-state creep rate of “A” nickel is shown to be insensitive to conditions at the surface.
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