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The source image distortion (SID) technique has been used to measure the stresses produced by electron beam melting of small regions of single‐crystal silicon wafers. Stress values thus calculated (∼108 Nm-2) agree with other worker's results for stress levels close to the fracture point for single‐crystal silicon. For wafers which had fractured, no source image distortion was visible indicating the absence of stress in those wafers.