Fracture of Tempered Leaf Springs
U-shaped leaf springs, intended to serve as spacers between oil tank floats and the inner walls of the containers, broke while being fitted, or after a short time in use, in the bend of the U. The springs were made of tempered strip steel of type C 88 with 0.84 % C, bent at room temperature, and electroplated with cadmium for protection against corrosion. Each fracture showed seven or eight kidney-shaped cracks. At the origins of these cracks on the concave inner surface of the springs, crater-like depressions and beads of melted and resolidified material were found. Fracture of the springs was caused by stress cracks as a consequence of local hardening. The hardening caused by melting and resolidification, and therefore the cracks in the springs, was the result of a faulty procedure during cadmium electroplating.