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The U-0.8wt%Ti alloy is often used in weapon applications where high strength and fairly good ductility are necessary. Components are immersion quenched in water from the gamma phase to produce a martensitic structure that is amenable to aging. Undesirable conditions occur when a component occasionally cracks during the quenching process, and when tensile specimens fail prematurely during mechanical testing. These two failures prompted an investigative analysis and a series of studies to determine the causes of the cracking and erratic behavior observed in this alloy. Quench-related failures whereby components that cracked either during or immediately after the heat treatment/quenching operation were sectioned for metallographic examination of the microstructure to examine the degree of phase transformation. Examination of premature tensile specimen failures by scanning electron microscopy and X-ray imaging of fracture surfaces revealed pockets of inclusions at the crack origins. In addition, tests were conducted to evaluate the detrimental effects of internal hydrogen on ductility and crack initiation in this alloy.

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