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This article briefly reviews the factors that influence the occurrence of intergranular (IG) fractures. Because the appearance of IG fractures is often very similar, the principal focus is placed on the various metallurgical or environmental factors that cause grain boundaries to become the preferred path of crack growth. The article describes in more detail some typical mechanisms that cause IG fracture. It discusses the causes and effects of IG brittle cracking, dimpled IG fracture, IG fatigue, hydrogen embrittlement, and IG stress-corrosion cracking. The article presents a case history on IG fracture of steam generator tubes, where a lowering of the operating temperature was proposed to reduce failures.

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