A bomb retaining ring fabricated from type 302 stainless steel unwrapped during a practice flight, causing the bomb fins to deploy. The retaining ring was able to unwrap itself because it was thinner and softer than required. Hardness testing, metallography, and tensile testing confirmed that the component was in the annealed condition and not in the required work-hardened 1/4-hard condition.
Suspension lugs fabricated from AISI 4340 steel used to facilitate loading of bombs onto the underside of military aircraft could not sustain required loads during routine proof load testing. Three failed lugs underwent visual examination, chemical analysis, metallography, hardness testing, scanning electron microscopy, and energy-dispersive x-ray spectroscopy. It was determined that the failures were due to forging defects. Both forging laps and seams acted as stress concentrators when the lugs were loaded during proof testing.