Nickel and nickel-base alloys are specified for many applications, such as oil and gas production, power generation, and chemical processing, because of their resistance to stress-corrosion cracking (SCC). Under certain conditions, however, SCC can be a concern. This chapter describes the types of environments and stress loads where nickel-base alloys are most susceptible to SCC. It begins with a review of the physical metallurgy of nickel alloys, focusing on the role of carbides and intermetallic phases. It then explains how SCC occurs in the presence of halides (such as chlorides, bromides, iodides, and fluorides), sulfur-bearing compounds (such as H2S and sulfur-oxyanions), high-temperature and supercritical water, and caustics (such as NaOH), while accounting for temperature, composition, microstructure, properties, environmental contaminants, and other factors. The chapter also discusses the effects of hydrogen embrittlement and provides information on test methods.
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