Stress-Corrosion Failure of a Strap-Type Clamp Made of 19-9 DL Heat- Resisting Alloy
A clamp used for securing the hot-air ducting system on fighter aircraft fractured in an area adjacent to a slot near the end of the strap after two or three years of service. The strap was 0.8 mm (0.032 in.) thick, and the V-section was 1.3 mm (0.050 in.) thick; both were made of 19-9 DL heat-resisting alloy. The operating temperature of the duct surrounded by the clamp was 425 to 540 deg C (800 to 1000 deg F). The life of the clamp was expected to equal that of the aircraft. Investigation (visual inspection, chemical analysis, hardness testing, and 540x/2700x images etched with oxalic acid) supported the conclusion that the clamp fractured by SCC because the work metal was sensitized. Sensitization occurred during long-term exposure to the service temperature; the effects of sensitization were intensified as a result of cold forming. Recommendations included using a work metal that is less susceptible to intergranular carbide precipitation.