Stress cracks

A crack or split that forms in metal as a result of repeated bending over time.  It's the same effect as if you take a paper-clip and repeatedly bend then straighten it - sooner or later it will break.

It's caused by the metal "work hardening" where it's flexing.  The bening makes the metal harder, which also makes it more brittle and less able to flex.  Sooner or later it becomes so brittle that it cracks.

It can be caused by a large amount of bending over a short time (as with the paper clip) or by even tiny amounts of movement (such as vibration) over an extended period.

Some examples from Sheila the Triumph are shown in this blog entry.

Create Time: 29 May 2009 Update Time: 29 May 2009

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