Temper brittleness related to faulting
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Temper brittleness was induced in a 3140 steel specimen by means of an isothermal heat treatment in a salt bath, Changes in internal structure of ductile and embrittled specimens were studied using a highprecision X-ray dif fractometer. The resulting peak shapes showed (1) a slightly better resolution of the alpha doublet by the brittle specimen, (2) a relative peak displacement between similar lines in the ductile and brittle specimens, and (3) an asymmetry in some of the peak shapes. Based on the observed asymmetry of some of the diffraction peak shapes and published results of other workers using the electron microscope, it is suggested that the embritt lement is related to stacking faults in the crystal structure. Comments are also offered as a possible explanation of the transition curve.
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