Brittle Fracture of an Aluminum Alloy Lifting-Sling Member
The T-section cross member of the lifting sling failed in service while lifting a 966 kg (2130 lb) load. The L-section sling body and the cross member were made of aluminum alloy 5083 or 5086 and were joined by welding using aluminum alloy 4043 filler metal. The fracture was found by visual examination to have occurred at the weld joining the sling body and the cross member. Inadequate joint penetration and porosity was revealed by macrographic examination of the weld. Lower silicon content and a higher magnesium and manganese content than the normal for alloy 4043 filler metal were found during chemical analysis. It was revealed by examination of the ends of the failed cross member that a rotational force that had been applied on the cross member caused it to fracture near the sling body. It was concluded that brittle fracture at the weld was caused by overloading which was attributed to the misalignment of the sling during loading. Aluminum alloy 5183 or 5356 filler metal was recommended to be used to avoid brittle welds.