Aluminum is protected by a barrier oxide film that, if damaged, reforms immediately in most environments. Despite this inherent corrosion resistance, there are conditions where aluminum alloys, like many materials, are subject to the effects of stress-corrosion cracking (SCC). This chapter describes those conditions, focusing initially on the effects of alloying elements and temper on solution potential and how it compares to other metals. It then addresses the issue of intergranular corrosion and its role in SCC. It explains how factors such as stress loads, grain structure, and environment determine whether or not stress-corrosion cracking develops in a susceptible alloy. It also provides stress-corrosion ratings for many alloys, tempers, and product forms and includes information on hydrogen-induced cracking.
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