Fatigue Fracture of a Forged 1055 Steel Crane-Bridge Wheel
A bridge wheel from a 272,160 kg stripper crane fractured in the web near the rim after one year of service. The wheel was forged from 1055 steel, and the tread, hub faces, and hub bore were machined. Beach marks indicative of fatigue at ten locations were revealed by macroscopic examination of the fracture surfaces. The surface of the web was heavily scaled and decarburized. A gross forging defect extending about 1.8 mm along the fracture surface was disclosed by examination of a micrograph of a section through one of the fatigue origins. Shallower forging defects were visible along the web surface. Fatigue cracking of the wheel was initiated at forging defects in the web. Replacement wheels were machined all over and were magnetic particle inspected to detect any cracks that could act as stress raisers.