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Communication Dans Un Congrès Année : 2023

Mechanisms of Liquid Metal Embrittlement of α-brasses in contact with the Eutectic Ga-In

Thierry Auger
  • Fonction : Auteur
Eva Heripré
  • Fonction : Auteur


Liquid metal embrittlement (LME) is a phenomenon in which a solid ductile metal behaves brittle under plastic deformation when in close contact with liquid metal, leading to catastrophic unattended failure of the solid. Its occurrence depends on multiple aspects, such as the solid/liquid interface, the metals' chemical compositions, the solid's metallurgical state, and the strain rate. This dangerous phenomenon can affect structural materials in applications such as soldering/welding, nuclear reactor cooling, and military applications. Several proposed mechanisms explain specific cases of LME; however, no model explains nor predicts the LME occurrence comprehensively, and there is a lack of studies on some aspects of the phenomenon, such as its occurrence in reactive couples. This work presents the study of the LME of different α-brasses (Cu-Zn alloys) in contact with the EGaIn (the eutectic Ga-In); the α-brasses are monophasic structural alloys, and the EGaIn is a non-toxic alloy that is liquid at room temperature. While in contact, these alloys react to form the CuGa2 intermetallic. These contact conditions and the formation of the CuGa2 intermetallic were characterized on alloys with different Zn contents. Moreover, millimetric-sized samples of these alloys were tested using the 3-point bending test to screen the mechanical and microstructural conditions that favour the apparition of the LME. In this system, the LME occurred when the solid presented higher Zn contents, higher hardness and under higher strain rates. Moreover, due to the CuGa2 intermetallic formation impeding the direct contact between the solid and the liquid, the liquid EGaIn does not affect the fracture initiation of the alloys but their fracture propagation; hence, the samples systematically presented a ductile fracture initiation followed by a brittle intergranular fracture propagation. This scenario was contrasted to a finite element method modelling that incorporates an elastoplastic materials behaviour and a ductile damage model. Moreover, this modelling shows that the brittle fracture followed the path of the higher plastic deformation The conditions that enhanced the LME point to a role of plasticity in the dependence on the LME. This dependence is contrasted with the theoretical models proposed in the literature. Keywords: Liquid metal embrittlement, fracture mechanism, mechanical properties
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Dates et versions

hal-04208322 , version 1 (15-09-2023)


  • HAL Id : hal-04208322 , version 1


Marco Ezequiel, Ingrid Proriol Serre, Thierry Auger, Eva Heripré. Mechanisms of Liquid Metal Embrittlement of α-brasses in contact with the Eutectic Ga-In. 31st International Materials Research Congress - IMRC 2023, Aug 2023, Mexico, Mexico. ⟨hal-04208322⟩
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