Intergranular Corrosion in an Unknown Part
The origins of the casting are unknown. It is included here as a classic case of intergranular corrosion. The part (apparently a pump outlet) was named the “rubber casting” because of the severity of the intergranular attack. Every grain boundary has been attacked to the extent that the casting could be twisted and stretched as through made of rubber. The chemistry of the casting was acceptable for CN-7M. The reason the part failed is a continuous film of carbide with a continuous crack running parallel to the carbides. This sensitized structure produces an area depleted in protective chromium, making it susceptible to corrosion. Two solutions to this problem are available. The simplest is to ensure correct heat treatment to dissolve grain-boundary carbide film and return the protective chromium to the depleted zone. Alternatively, a low-carbon (0.03% maximum C, for example, CF-3) grade can be specified. Procedures are given in a reference for screening castings that may be susceptible to intergranular corrosion due to processing errors.