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This chapter describes the causes of cracking, embrittlement, and low toughness in carbon and low-alloy steels and their differentiating fracture surface characteristics. It discusses the interrelated effects of composition, processing, and microstructure and contributing factors such as hot shortness associated with copper and overheating and burning as occur during forging. It addresses various types of embrittlement, including quench embrittlement, tempered-martensite embrittlement, liquid-metal-induced embrittlement, and hydrogen embrittlement, and concludes with a discussion on high-temperature hydrogen attack and its effect on strength and ductility.

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Low Toughness and Embrittlement Phenomena in Steels, Steels: Processing, Structure, and Performance, 2nd ed., By George Krauss, ASM International, 2015, p 439–485,

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