Failure Investigations of PH 13-8 Mo Aircraft Components
The failures of two aircraft components, one from a landing gear and the other from an ejector rack mechanism, were investigated. Both were made from PH 13-8 Mo (UNS S13800) precipitation-hardening stainless steel which had been heat treated to the H1000 and H950 tempers respectively and then chromium plated. The parts were characterized metallographically and mechanically and were found to be compliant. Detailed fractographic examination revealed that the first stage of both failures was similar: subsurface initiation of numerous cracks with a wide range of orientations and cleavage like features. The cracking was followed by fatigue in one case and catastrophic failure in the other. Hydrogen embrittlement was identified as the most likely mechanism of failure.