Fatigue Fracture of a Steel 8 × 19 Elevator Cable
One of six cables on a passenger elevator was found fractured during a routine inspection. The cable is made of 16-mm steel wire rope designated 8 x 19 G Preformed Extra High Strength Special Traction Elevator Cable with fiber core. Samples of wire from the cable revealed two types of fractures: flat-type fractures were observed in 1.2 and 1 mm diam wires and cup-and-cone fractures were observed in 0.6 mm diam wires. A nick observed in the side of one of the larger wires was found to be rusted. Beach marks radiating inward, indicative of fatigue cracking, were also revealed. The smaller wires were found to be slightly oxidized and behaved in a ductile manner under excessive loads before ultimate failure. Flat-type fractures were believed to have resulted from cyclic torsional stresses along with longitudinal cracking. Restriction of free movement of the socket-end in the shackle was found to have promoted fracture due to increased magnitude of stresses. Mechanical damage to surfaces of wires was concluded to be sufficient to cause fatigue cracking under the stresses encountered in service.