Letter | Published:

Failure of Stainless Steel by Intergranular Decohesion during Creep

Naturevolume 207page748 (1965) | Download Citation



IN an experiment where some stainless-steel tubes had been ruptured by internal gas-pressure, failure was observed to have occurred by the nucleation, growth and impingement of intergranular cavities. An attempt has been made to relate this failure-mechanism with the observed dispersion in life-to-rupture. The tubes were of double vacuum-melted 20Cr–25Ni-niobium-stabilized stainless steel. Their nominal dimensions were 0.40 in. bore diam. × 0.015 in. wall thickness: they were made by extrusion and cold-drawing followed by external grinding. About 120 cap-ended lengths of the tubing were internally pressurized with 1,750 lb./in.2 argon (σ = 2σz) at 650° C in an atmosphere of carbon dioxide + 10 per cent carbon monoxide and their lives-to-rupture measured. Optical metallography revealed that intergranular decohesion had been nucleated at many sites and had spread until rupture was complete. A process-rate model of decohesion was constructed and this led to the following equation: where F is the fractional area of non-coherent grain-boundary at time t, and m should be 1.33.

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  1. U.K. Atomic Energy Authority, Materials Science Group, Reactor Fuel Laboratories, Springfields, Salwick, nr. Preston, Lancashire

    • J. H. GITTUS


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