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Cracks were discovered between interference-fit fasteners (MoS2-coated Ti-6Al-4V) that had been incorporated into a fighter aircraft primary structural frame (D6ac steel) to enhance structural fatigue life. Examination of sections cut from the cracked frame established that the cracks propagated by stress-corrosion cracking. The cause of cracking was twofold: use of interference-fit fasteners exposed to moisture intrusion from a marine environment and poor hole quality. Failure was intensified by dissimilar-metal contact in the presence of weak acidic electrolyte (dissociated MoS2). Control of machining parameters to prevent formation of brittle martensite, use of galvanically compatible fasteners, and use of an alternate lubricant were recommended.

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Tommy N. White, Sam Kantimathi, Stress-Corrosion Cracking of a High-Strength Steel Frame in a Fighter Aircraft, Handbook of Case Histories in Failure Analysis, Vol 1, Edited By Khlefa A. Esaklul, ASM International, 1992, p 51–55,

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