Investigation of a Failed Stainless Steel Spindle Assembly
This paper describes the metallurgical investigation of a broken spindle used to attach an antenna to the mast of a naval vessel. Visual inspections of both failed and intact fastener assemblies were carried out both on-board ship and in the laboratory followed by metallographic and fractographic examinations. Simulations were also performed on stressed material in a suitable environment to assess the relative importance of postulated failure mechanisms. Factors contributing to this failure including assembly procedures and applied preloads, service loading and environment, and material selection and specification. The discussion considers whether this failure was an isolated incident or is likely to be a fleet-wide problem, and suggests ways to prevent reoccurrence.