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The 16 mm diam 6 x 37 fiber-core improved plow steel wire rope on a scrapyard crane failed after two weeks of service under normal loading conditions. This type of rope was made of 0.71 to 0.75% carbon steel wires and a tensile strength of 1696 to 1917 MPa. The rope broke when it was attached to a chain for pulling jammed scrap from the baler. The rope was heavily abraded and several of the individual wires were broken. a uniform cold-drawn microstructure, with patches of untempered martensite in regions of severe abrasion and crown wear was revealed by metallographic examination. As a result of abrasion, a hard layer of martensite was formed on the wire. The wire was made susceptible to fatigue cracking, while bending around the sheave, by this brittle surface layer. The carbon content and tensile strength of the wire was found lower than specifications. As a corrective measure, this wire rope was substituted by the more abrasion resistant 6 x 19 rope.

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