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An aluminum bronze propeller tap bolt from a twin-screw vessel fractured just below the bolt head. Liquid penetrant testing revealed a large network of cracks that extended radially from sites in and just below the bolthead. Metallographic analysis indicated that the tap bolt failed by stress-corrosion cracking. It was surmised that seawater or some other corrosive substance was present in sufficient quantity to induce intergranular cracking at regions of high stress concentration. It was recommended that all tap bolts be replaced with new bolts made from an alloy with a higher copper content and at least the same yield strength. Steps to exclude seawater and any possible source of ammonia from the bolt shank were also suggested.

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