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An I-beam of IS-226 specification—I-section dimensions of 450 x l50 x 10 mm (17.7 x 5.9 x 0.4 in.) and a length of 12.41 m (40.7ft)—was flame cut into two section in an open yard near these a coast under normal weather conditions. After approximately 112h, the shorter section of he I-beam split catastrophically along the entire length through the web. Detailed investigation revealed segregation of high levels of carbon, sulfur and phosphorus in the middle of the web and high residual stresses attributed to rolling during fabrication. Flame cutting caused a change in the distribution of the residual stresses, which, aided by low fracture toughness due to the poor quality of the beam, resulted in failure. It was recommended that segregation be avoided in cast ingots used for I-beam manufacture by implementing a better quality-control procedure.

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R.K. Dayal, J.B. Gnanamoorthy, P. Rodriguez, Failure of an I-Beam, Handbook of Case Histories in Failure Analysis, Vol 1, Edited By Khlefa A. Esaklul, ASM International, 1992, p 378–381,

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