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Persistent cracking in a forged 1080 steel turntable rail in a wind tunnel test section was investigated. All cracks were oriented transverse to the axis of the rail, and some had propagated through the flange into the web. Through-flange cracks had been repair welded. A section of the flange containing one through-flange crack was examined using various methods. Results indicated that the cracks had initiated from intergranular quench cracks caused by the use of water as the quenching medium. Brittle propagation of the cracks was promoted by high residual stresses acting in conjunction with applied loads. Repair welding was discontinued to prevent the introduction of additional residual stress., Finite-element analysis was used to show that the rail could tolerate existing cracks. Periodic inspection to monitor the degree of cracking was recommended.

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Tina L. Panontin, Quench Cracking in a Turntable Rail, Handbook of Case Histories in Failure Analysis, Vol 2, Edited By Khlefa A. Esaklul, ASM International, 1993, p 79–82,

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