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Uncoated high-strength alloy steel cap screws retaining a cast aluminum (356.0) diffuser assembly in a centrifugal refrigerant compressor failed in a brittle manner a short time after the system was placed in operation. Evidence obtained during the failure analysis indicated that the failures were the result of hydrogen embrittlement produced by galvanic corrosion and attendant evolution of hydrogen at the dissimilar junction, which was also the site of the highest tensile stress. Suggested measures for minimizing recurrences included use of lower-strength, galvanically-compatible fasteners and appropriately-applied and treated compatible coatings.

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Charles E. Witherell, Fracture of Alloy Steel Cap Screws in a Refrigeration Compressor, Handbook of Case Histories in Failure Analysis, Vol 1, Edited By Khlefa A. Esaklul, ASM International, 1992, p 324–327,

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