Stress corrosion cracking of alpha brass in a tarnishing ammoniacal environment: Fractography and chemical analysis

Document Type


Publication Date



Department of Geological and Mining Engineering and Sciences


Alloy 260 brass specimens under stress were exposed at room temperature to 15 N aqueous ammonia solution with 8 g/1 of cupric copper predissolved. This environment causes tarnishing of the brass surface and intergranular stress corrosion cracking. Scanning electron microscopy, energy dispersive X-ray analysis, and Auger electron spectroscopy were employed to study fractography, corrosion product composition and distribution within the stress corrosion crack, and fracture surface chemistry characteristic of stress corrosion cracking in this system. A thin oxidized film was detected by Auger spectroscopy at the leading edge of the propagating crack. With continued exposure to the corrosive environment, deposits form on the fracture surface, then coalesce to form a continuous tarnish film that is depleted of zinc. No bulk depletion of zinc was detected in the alloy at the stress corrosion crack leading edge. No evidence of noncrystallographic crack arrest marks was found on the intergranular fracture surface.

Publisher's Statement

© 1975 American Society for Metals, The Melallurgical Society of AIME. Publisher’s version of record: https://doi.org/10.1007/BF02641959

Publication Title

Metallurgical Transactions A