Investigation of Superheated Steam Push Rod Spindles
A spindle made of hardenable 13% chromium steel X40 Cr13 (Material No. 1.4034) that was fastened to a superheated steam push rod made of high temperature structural steel 13Cr-Mo44 (Material No. 1.7335) by means of a convex fillet weld, fractured at the first operation of the rod directly next to the weld bead. Investigation showed that the fracture of the superheated steam push rod spindle was caused by hardening and hardening crack formation in the weld seams and adjoining areas. It would have been preferable to avoid welding near the cross sectional transitions altogether in consideration of the crack sensitivity of high hardenability steels. If for some reason this was not possible, then all precautions should have been taken that are applicable to the particular steel, such as preheating, slow cooling and stress relief tempering after welding. The selection of an austenitic additive material should have been considered because it could have equalized stresses due to its high elongation. Most probably, however, a material of lower hardenability should have been selected for the spindle if high operating properties were of paramount importance.