Published on 27 March 2014
From time to time Industrial Members have issues with components in service where it is not possible to remove samples for subsequent investigation at TWI facilities. Industrial Member Quartzelec contacted TWI for help when an installed steel retaining band was splattered with molten copper. Since liquid metal penetration is known to cause embrittlement of stainless steel this issue warranted urgent investigation.
After a study of the damaged area and high magnification photography, TWI's technical specialists identified representative regions for closer consideration. These regions were cleaned, polished and etched to reveal the underlying grain structure. Replicas of each etched surface were then taken using acetate film and returned to TWI for further analysis. Detailed examination showed no evidence of liquid metal damage.
The evidence obtained allowed the retaining band to continue safely in service with the knowledge that its performance had not been impaired.
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