ISO 7539-9:2003 covers procedures for designing, preparing and using pre-cracked specimens for investigating the susceptibility of metal to stress corrosion cracking by means of tests conducted under rising load or rising displacement. The term "metal" includes alloys.
Because of the need to confine plasticity to the crack tip, pre-cracked specimens are not suitable for the evaluation of thin products such as sheet or wire and are generally used for thicker products including plate, bar and forgings. They can also be used for parts joined by welding.
A particular advantage of pre-cracked specimens is that they allow data to be acquired from which critical defect sizes, above which stress corrosion cracking may occur, can be estimated for components of known geometry subjected to known stresses. They also enable rates of stress corrosion crack propagation to be determined.
A principal advantage of the test is that it takes into account the potential impact of dynamic straining on the threshold for stress corrosion cracking.