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This chapter discusses the conditions and sequence of events that lead to stress-corrosion cracking (SCC) and the mechanisms by which it progresses. It explains that the stresses involved in SCC are relatively small and, in most cases, work in combination with the development of a surface film. It describes bulk and surface reactions that contribute to SCC, including dissolution, mass transport, absorption, diffusion, and embrittlement, and their role in crack nucleation and growth. It also discusses crack tip chemistry, grain-boundary interactions, and the effect of stress-intensity on crack propagation rates, and describes several mechanical fracture models, including corrosion tunnel, film-induced cleavage, and tarnish rupture models.

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