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A tool used to stretch reinforcement wires in prestressed concrete failed. All eight individual jaws were broken. Visual examination of the fracture surfaces indicated that about half of the broken parts had a partially dendritic appearance. Further, fracture surfaces near the exteriors of the parts were clean and smooth, and there was evidence of a case. Examination of the flat surfaces of the parts revealed surface cracking where actual failure had not occurred. Chemical analysis showed the material to be a low-alloy carburizing steel. The microstructure was compatible with a steel which is cast, carburized, quenched, and tempered. The structure was generally satisfactory, except for the presence of severe shrinkage porosity. It was concluded that the presence of shrinkage porosity in critical areas was the primary cause of fracture. Extremely high hardness indicating a lack of adequate tempering was the secondary cause.

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C. Howard Craft, Failure of Steel Jaws, ASM Failure Analysis Case Histories: Machine Tools and Manufacturing Equipment, ASM International, 2019,

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