Use of XRD to Evaluate Cracks in Steel Cargo Tiedown Sockets
Cracks initiating from the tip of the cloverleaf pattern in steel cargo tiedown sockets were observed by the builder following installation aboard several cargo vessels in various stages of construction. Testing of finite element models and measurements performed in the field on cargo ships with the cracking problem supported the conclusion that the failure was caused by overload. Additional testing showed that the overload failure and the transition from ductile to brittle fracture were facilitated by a combination of high brittleness due to flame cutting, increased hardness due to the cold-working coining process, and high residual stresses created by welding. Recommendations included the removal of the brittle, carbon-rich transformed martensite layer introduced by flame cutting and the application of a localized stress-relief heat treatment process. X-ray diffraction residual-stress measurements were then performed on heat treated tiedown sockets to verify the effectiveness of the localized heat treatment process applied.