Corrosion Fatigue of the Tail Wire of an Aerial Clamp
The small cable (drop wire) providing service for individual subscribers from the aerial plant is held in place by a clamp made of a tin-coated brass body (attached to the cable) and a copper tail wire loop (attached to a galvanized steel hook or to a porcelain insulator). The tail wire is 2.6 mm (0.102 in.) diam annealed copper, and the clamp assembly must withstand a 2470 N (555 lb) load without breaking or slipping. A number of these clamps, located a few hundred feet from the ocean, have failed. The sharply broken wire indicated to weakening by abrasion. The copper tail wire failures had characteristics generally associated with corrosion fatigue. The broken wires showed multiple transgranular cracks near the failure, originating at the bases of pits. It was diagnosed that the copper tail wire failures were due to corrosion fatigue. The solution to this problem was to change the tail wire material for direct seashore exposure from annealed copper to annealed Monel.