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A cast silicon bronze (UNS C86700) impeller that had been severely corroded was submitted for failure analysis. The failed part was used to pump potable water, but service life and chlorine content of the water were unknown. The impeller displayed a Cu-rich red phase on its surfaces and showed a pattern very similar to dezincification. Further investigation to determine the cause of damage using light microscopy and SEM-EDS techniques revealed that the microstructure consisted of multiple phases and that a Si-rich phase was being preferentially attacked, leading to increased porosity. After a thorough examination, it was concluded that the part had failed due to dealloying via desiliconification.

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