Stress-Corrosion Cracking of Aerial Plant Fuses
Several fuses made of nickel silver (57 to 61% Cu, 11 to 13% Ni, bal Zn) exposed to air containing ammonium and nitrate ions failed by SCC. Test solutions of 1 N ammonium nitrate (NH4NO3) and a 1:1 mixture of 1 N sodium nitrate (NaNO3) and 1 N calcium nitrate (Ca(NO3) 2) were prepared. In addition, stressed fuses made of nickel silver and of cupro-nickel (80Cu-20Ni) were exposed to a drop of corrosive solution in the stressed area. All nickel silver specimens failed after two days of exposure to NH4NO3 solution. However, 17% of them failed and 67% showed crack initiation but no failure after 42 days of exposure to NaNO3 + Ca(NO3)2 solution. None of the cupro-nickel specimens failed, but among those exposed to NH4NO3, 17% displayed crack initiation and 83% showed partial dealloying after 42 days. Based on the test results, the fuse material was changed from nickel silver to cupro-nickel, solving the SCC problem.