Failure Analysis and Prevention
Metal-induced embrittlement is a phenomenon in which the ductility or fracture stress of a solid metal is reduced by surface contact with another metal in either liquid or solid form. This article summarizes the characteristics of solid metal induced embrittlement (SMIE) and liquid metal induced embrittlement (LMIE). It describes the unique features that assist in arriving at a clear conclusion whether SMIE or LMIE is the most probable cause of the problem. The article briefly reviews some commercial alloy systems where LMIE or SMIE has been documented. It also provides some examples of cracking due to these phenomena, either in manufacturing or in service.