Journal of Materials Science

, Volume 19, Issue 2, pp 599–606 | Cite as

The embrittlement of Sn-Al eutectic alloy in water vapour

  • F. O. Muktepavel
  • G. P. Upit


The present paper is concerned with the study of strength and structural properties of phase boundaries of eutectic alloy becoming brittle after having been exposed to damp air. Interfaces of solid phase joints of tin with aluminium served as simple phase boundary models for this system. It was found (by SIMS technique) that alloy brittleness is caused by chemical absorption of hydrogen on phase boundaries, which leads to the damage of phase adhesion. The chemical absorption of hydrogen increases due to microdiscontinuities present on phase boundaries. Wetting tests and the results on kinetics of embrittlement show that the effect is a nonreversible one and is associated with the formation of hydrides. The mechanism of embrittlement is discussed in terms of the thermodynamic characteristics of the system investigated.


Hydrogen Polymer Aluminium Brittle Water Vapour 
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Copyright information

© Chapman and Hall Ltd. 1984

Authors and Affiliations

  • F. O. Muktepavel
    • 1
  • G. P. Upit
    • 1
  1. 1.Institute of PhysicsLatvian SSR Academy of SciencesRiga, SalaspilsUSSR

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