Brittle Fracture of a 1020 Steel Stop-Block Guide on a Crane Runway
A section from a stop-block guide fell to the floor on a crane runway after it failed. A brittle crystalline-type break was disclosed by examination of the fracture surface. The point of initiation was in a hardened heat-affected layer that had developed during flame cutting and welding. The metal was identified to be 1020 steel. It was indicated by the coarse as-rolled structure (grain size of ASTM 00 to 4) of the base metal that the weldment (stop block and guide) had not been normalized. The brittle failure was evaluated to have been initiated at a metallurgical and mechanical notch produced by flame cutting and welding. As corrective measures, fully silicon-killed 1020 steel with a maximum grain size of ASTM 5 were used to make new stop-block weldments. The weldments were normalized at 900 deg C after flame cutting and welding to improve microstructure and impact strength. All flame-cut surfaces were ground to remove notches.