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A cadmium-plated 4340 Ni-Cr-Mo steel ballast elbow assembly was submitted for failure analysis to determine the element or radical present in an oxidation product found inside the elbow assembly. Energy-dispersive x-ray analysis in the SEM showed that iron was the predominant species, presumably in an oxide form. The inside surface had the appearance of typical corrosion products. Hardness measurements indicated that the 4340 steel was heat treated to a strength of approximately 862 MPa (125 ksi). It was concluded that the oxide detected on the ballast elbow was iron oxide. The possibility that the corrosion products would eventually create...

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