Brittle Fracture of a Crane Hook
During the lifting of a piece of machinery by means of an overhead travelling crane the hook fractured suddenly. The load was attached to the hook by means of fiber rope slings and rupture occurred in a plane which appeared to coincide with the sling loop nearest to the back of the hook. The rated capacity of the crane was 15 tons. At the time of the mishap it was being used to lift one end of a hydraulic cylinder with a total weight of about 27 tons. Fracture was of the cleavage type throughout. There was no evidence of any prior deformation of the material in the vicinity, nor was there any indication of a pre-existing crack or major discontinuity at the point of origin. A sulfur print suggested the hook had been forged from a billet cogged down from an ingot of semi-killed steel. Failure of this hook was attributed to strain-age embrittlement of the material at the surface of the intrados.