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Glasses and ceramics are susceptible to stress-corrosion cracking (SCC), as are metals, but the underlying mechanisms differ in many ways. One of the major differences stems from the lack of active dislocation motion that, in metals, serves to arrest cracks by reducing stress concentrations at flaw tips. As a result, even relatively small flaws (20 to 50 μm in radius) can cause glasses and ceramics to fail. This chapter examines the propensity of flaws to grow in glass and ceramic materials exposed to different environments, especially water, at stresses well below those that would produce immediate failure. It describes...

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