Fracture of a Steel Tram-Rail Assembly
Several of the welds in a hoist carriage tram-rail assembly fabricated by shielded metal arc welding the leg of a large T-section 1020 steel beam to the leg of a smaller T-section 1050 steel rail failed in one portion of the assembly. Four weld cracks and several indefinite indications were found by magnetic-particle inspection. The cracks were revealed by metallographic examination to have originated in the HAZs in the rail section. Cracks in welds and in HAZs resulting from arcing the electrode adjacent to the weld and weld spatter were also revealed. The tram-rail assembly was concluded to have failed by fatigue cracking in HAZs. The fatigue cracking was initiated and propagated by vibration of the tram rail by movement of the hoist carriage on the rail. As a corrective measure, welding procedures were improved and the replacement rail assemblies were preheated and postheated.