Fatigue Fracture of a 1020 Steel Crane Hook
The crane hook (rated for 13000 kg) failed in the threaded shank while lifting a load of 9072 kg. The metal in the hook was revealed by chemical analysis to be killed 1020 steel. It was disclosed by visual examination that the fracture had at the last thread on the shank and rough machining and chatter marks were evident on the threads. Beach marks that emanated from the thread-root locations on opposite sides of the fracture surface identified these locations to be the origins of the fracture. A medium-coarse slightly acicular structure was revealed by metallographic examination which indicated that the material was in the as-forged condition (which meant lower fatigue strength). The fracture was concluded to have occurred due to stress concentration in the root of the last thread. Normalizing of the crane hook after forging was suggested as a corrective measure. A stress-relief groove with a diam slightly smaller than the root diam was placed at the end of the thread and a large-radius fillet was machined at the change in diameter of the shank.