Skip to Main Content
Skip Nav Destination


The cause of fracture of two piston rods of hammers of a drop forge was determined. The first rod of 180 mm diam consisted of an unalloyed steel with 0.37% C and 0.67% Mn and had a strength of 56 kp/sq mm at 26% elongation. Fatigue fractures propagated from several points which could be recognized as flaky cracks already in the fracture, and which later were united. No material defects could be detected in the cross section parallel to the fracture plane except for these very short cracks. These comparatively insignificant defects were sufficient to cause the fracture during high impact fatigue stresses in the drop forge. The second piston rod of 120 mm diam consisted of a steel with 0.25% C and 1.00% Mn. It allegedly had 57 kp/sq mm tensile strength and 26% elongation. The basic structure of the 120 mm piston rod was ferritic-pearlitic and hardness of 155 Brinell was accordingly low, corresponding to approximately 53 kp/sq mm tensile strength. The incipient fractures had no connection with the material defects in this shaft and therefore the fracture could not have been caused by them. Probably the low strength of the piston rod was insufficient for the high stresses.

You do not currently have access to this chapter.
Don't already have an account? Register

Friedrich Karl Naumann, Ferdinand Spies, Fractured Piston Rod of Drop Forge Hammers, ASM Failure Analysis Case Histories: Machine Tools and Manufacturing Equipment, ASM International, 2019,

Download citation file:

Close Modal

or Create an Account

Close Modal
Close Modal