"I have a 430 SS part that sees a 2100F braze process (vacuum), 1650F firing process (vacuum) and is silver plated. We had a return where the part fractured in a thread relief region at about 1/3 the max torque of a good part. The part appears to have little ductility in the fractured region. The part has high grain growth, but do not see the IG cracks with Hydrogen embrittlement. I know grain growth weakens the part, but can you have grain growth without embrittlement and which of the above processes would have contributed to the failure."
Your question is very difficult to answer with authority based on the information you have provided regarding the manufacturing process, the service or the nature of cracking. While hydrogen embrittlement (HE) cracking can exhibit intergranular characteristics, it can also result in cleavage and ductile, dimpled overload cracking. Also, large grains do not automatically promote cracking, although they can impare toughness. Your issues are best answered by conducting a failure analysis of the component. We can help you with that if you don't have available resources. Alternatively, feel free to call me at 281-556-8774 and I will be glad to discuss details of your failure with you and provide what help that I can.
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