Use of Electron Fractography to Dianose Stress-Corrosion Cracking of an AISI 4340 Nose Landing Gear Cylinder
A nose landing gear cylinder made from AISI 4340 Ni-Cr-Mo alloy steel was found cracked and leaking, causing partial depressurization. Investigation revealed the crack to be a stress-corrosion type, judging by the 6500x electron fractograph. It had started in a region of concentrated, large non-metallic inclusions near the chromium-plated ID of the cylinder. Also, there were breaks in the chromium plate and pits in the underlying base metal. The cylinder had been in service for 18,017 h, and 5948 h had passed since the first and only overhaul. Substandard plating of the ID at this time ultimately resulted in pitting of the metal. The combination of surface pitting and stress concentration at the nearby inclusions resulted in stress-corrosion cracking.
James A. Scott, Use of Electron Fractography to Dianose Stress-Corrosion Cracking of an AISI 4340 Nose Landing Gear Cylinder, ASM Failure Analysis Case Histories: Air and Spacecraft, ASM International, 2019, https://doi.org/10.31399/asm.fach.aero.c9001542
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