Brittle Fracture of a Cast Austenitic Manganese Steel Chain Link
Chain link, a part of a mechanism for transferring hot or cold steel blooms into and out of a reheating furnace, broke after approximately four months of service. The link was cast from 2% Cr austenitic manganese steel and was subjected to repeated heating to temperatures of 455 to 595 deg C (850 to 1100 deg F). Examination included visual inspection, macrograph of a nital-etched specimen from an as-received chain link 1.85x, micrographs of a nital-etched specimen from an as-received chain link 100x/600x, normal microstructure of as-cast standard austenitic manganese steel 100x, micrograph of a nital-etched specimen that had been austenitized 20 min at 1095 deg C (2000 deg F) and air cooled 315x, and micrograph of the same specimen after annealing 68 h at 480 deg C (900 deg F) 1000x). Investigation supported the conclusions that the chain link failed in a brittle manner, because the austenitic manganese steel from which it was cast became embrittled after being reheated in the temperature range of 455 to 595 deg C (850 to 1100 deg F) for prolonged periods of time. The alloy was not suitable for this application, because of its metallurgical instability under service conditions.