Failure of Steel Wire Rope Because of Overheating
A 3.8-cm diam 6 x 37 rope of improved plow steel wire failed in service during dumping of a ladle of hot slag. A heavy blue oxide extending 0.6 to 0.9 m back from each side of the break was revealed on examination of the rope. Tensile fractures were shown by the broken ends of the rope. Recrystallization of the steel was revealed during microscopic examination of the wires adjacent to the break which indicated that the wires had been heated in excess of 700 deg C (1292 deg F). The tensile strength of the wires in the rope that broke was 896 MPa whereas the specification required it to be 1724 MPa. Thus, a 50% loss in tensile strength of the wires was caused by overheating which lead to failure of the rope. It was recommended that prolonged exposure of wire ropes to extreme conditions should be avoided.