Fatigue Fracture of a 1040 Steel Coil Hook
A 10,890-kg coil hook torch cut from 1040 steel plate failed while lifting a load of 13,600 kg after eight years of service. The normal ironing (wear) marks were exhibited by the inner surface of the hook. It was revealed by visual examination that cracking had originated at the inside radius of the hook. Beach marks (typical of fatigue fracture) were found extending over approximately 20% of the fracture surface. Numerous cracks were revealed by macroscopic examination of the torch-cut surfaces. It was revealed by macrograph of an etched specimen that the cracks had initiated in a hardened martensitic zone at the torch-cut surface and had extended up to the coarse pearlite structure beneath the martensitic zone. The fatigue fracture was concluded to have initiated in the brittle martensitic surface while failure was contributed by the 25% overload. As a corrective measure, the coil hooks were flame cut from ASTM A242 fine-grain steel plate, ground to remove the material damaged by flame cutting and stress relieved at 620 deg C.