Fatigue Fractures of Toggle-Switch Springs That Originated at Tool Marks
The conical helical spring sealed, within each switch enclosure, fractured to lead to the failure of several electrical toggle switches. The spring was fabricated from 0.43 mm diam AISI type 302 stainless steel wires. Appreciable amount of scale was observed on the fracture surface and tool marks were revealed on the inner surface of the broken spring. A typical fatigue fracture that originated at a tool mark on the wire surface was revealed by inspection of a fracture surface of the broken springs. Regions which displayed beach marks around the fracture origin and parallel striations within the beach-mark regions were revealed by scanning electron microscopy. As a corrective measure, the spring-winding operation was altered to eliminate the tool marks.