What is Gold Embrittlement?
Gold embrittlement refers to the process in which gold atoms diffuse into a material, forming intermetallic compounds that weaken its structural integrity. These compounds can lead to cracks and fractures under stress, making the material more susceptible to failure. The diffusion of gold atoms occurs due to a combination of factors, including temperature, pressure, and the composition of the material.
Causes of Gold Embrittlement
Several factors contribute to gold embrittlement. One of the primary causes is the diffusion of gold into the material, which occurs at elevated temperatures. The diffusion process is influenced by the composition of the material, with some elements being more prone to embrittlement than others. Additionally, the presence of impurities or contaminants in the gold coating can accelerate the embrittlement process.
Another factor that can contribute to gold embrittlement is the formation of intermetallic compounds. These compounds are typically brittle and can weaken the material, leading to failure under stress. The formation of intermetallic compounds is influenced by factors such as the composition of the material and the processing conditions.
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