Forklifts and Carrier Vehicles
Two tubular AISI 1025 steel posts (improved design) in a carrier vehicle failed by cracking at the radius of the flange after five weeks of service. The posts were two of four that supported the chassis of the vehicle high above the wheels. The original design involved a flat flange of low-carbon low-alloy steel that was welded to an AISI 1025 steel tube, and the improved design included placing the welded joint of the flange farther away from the flange fillet. Investigation (visual inspection and chemical analysis) supported the conclusion that the failures in the flanges of improved design were attributed to fatigue cracks initiating at the aluminum oxide inclusions in the flange fillet. Recommendations included retaining the improved design of the flange with the weld approximately 50 mm (2 in.) from the fillet, but changing the metal to a forging of AISI 4140 steel, oil quenched and tempered to a hardness of 241 to 285 HRB. Preheating to 370 deg C (700 deg F) before and during welding with AISI 4130 steel wire was specified. It was also recommended that the weld be subjected to magnetic-particle inspection and then stress relieved at 595 deg C (1100 deg F), followed by final machining.