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Brittle intergranular fracture, typical of a hydrogen-induced delayed failure, caused the failure of an AISI 4340 Cr-Mo-Ni landing gear beam. Corrosion resulting from protective coating damage released nascent hydrogen, which diffused into the steel under the influence of sustained tensile stresses. A second factor was a cluster of non-metallic inclusions which had ‘tributary’ cracks starting from them. Also, eyebolts broke when used to lift a light aircraft (about 7000 lb.). The bolt failure was a brittle intergranular fracture, very likely due to a hydrogen-induced delayed failure mechanism. As for the factors involved, cadmium plating, acid pickling, and steelmaking processes...

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