What Is Liquid Metal-Induced Embrittlement?

What Is Liquid Metal-Induced Embrittlement?

What Is Liquid Metal-Induced Embrittlement?

Liquid metal embrittlement is a phenomenon where a normally ductile metal becomes more brittle and prone to intergranular cracking after exposure to certain liquid metals.

This is caused by the diffusion of solutes from the liquid metal into the solid metal, resulting in microstructural changes that weaken it. Liquid metals commonly responsible for this include zinc, tin, lead, mercury, and bismuth alloys.

This embrittlement can seriously affect essential components such as gears, bolts, and nuts, so precautions must be taken when working with or around these materials to ensure that no liquids come into contact with them.

How Do You Prevent Liquid Metal Embrittlement?

Liquid metal embrittlement can be prevented by avoiding contact or contamination from the liquid metals which cause cracking. It is also essential to not use low-melting point metals near their melting points and to use metallic coating or cladding as barrier protection.

Such practices ensure that components are not subjected to stresses which could cause liquid metal embrittlement under certain conditions.

Proper maintenance of components and regular inspection for signs of liquid metal embrittlement can help ensure the safety and reliability of machinery and equipment which may come into contact with these substances.

What Is Meant By Liquid Metal Corrosion?

Liquid metal corrosion is metal dissolution in a liquid environment, usually caused by electrochemical reactions between the metal and its environment. It can be accelerated by high temperatures and certain metals or chemical contaminants in the surrounding liquid.

The result of this corrosion is a decrease in the strength and durability of the metal surface, which can eventually lead to the failure or destruction of the metal object.

Liquid metal corrosion differs from other forms of corrosion due to its rapid action and difficulty to predict accurately – measures must be taken to prevent it whenever possible.

What Is The Cause Of Embrittlement?

Certain low-melting-point metals, such as cadmium, lead, antimony, zinc, and tin, cause the embrittlement of steel.

These metals lower the strength and ductility of steel and iron-based alloys by interfering with their crystalline structures and reducing their ability to deform plastically. As a result, embrittle d steels may become prone to cracking or failure in service.

Furthermore, embrittlement can affect steel’s thermal properties, reducing toughness and increasing susceptibility to deformation at elevated temperatures.

Additionally, corrosion can act as an accelerating factor to reduce the service life of these materials due to their attack on grain boundaries, enhancing embrittlement.

What Are The Characteristics Of Liquid Metal Embrittlement?

Liquid metal embrittlement (LME) is a phenomenon characterized by the reduction in the threshold stress intensity, true fracture stress, or strain to fracture when tested in the presence of liquid metals as compared to that obtained in air/vacuum tests.

These reduced values are attributed to increased tensile stress near a crack tip due to interfacial effects between solid and liquid phases, which eventually leads to accelerated crack propagation.

The most common effects of LME include an increased propensity for ductile cracking along grain boundaries, cracking during hot working processes, and premature failures under cyclic loading conditions.

This can be further exacerbated if other factors, such as hydrogen poisoning, thermal shock, or transgranular fatigue cracks, are present.

What Are The Properties Of Liquid Metal?

Liquid metal has many advantageous properties that make it useful in various applications. It exhibits high thermal and electrical conductivity, making it suitable for electronics and energy-related applications.

Its excellent fluidity allows it to be poured into molds or forms easily, enabling it to be used in manufacturing objects.

Additionally, its high surface tension allows it to retain its shape before solidification and aids in increased adhesion with other materials. Moreover, liquid metal has extremely low evaporation rates, which helps maintain its composition during storage and use.

Furthermore, its chemical stability ensures that it is not damaged by contact with many acids, alkalis, or salts while also being nontoxic to humans, making it a safe material for multiple uses. These properties make liquid metal an invaluable material across a variety of industries.


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