Bolt Failure Caused by Penetration of Molten Copper
A steel bolt had been used to join the copper connecting strips between the poles of a 10-pole, series-connected, rotating field rotor of a synchronous motor. The exciting current was 155 amps. Failure of the bolt resulted in severe damage to the stator windings by the loosened ends of the strips. The bolt had fractured near the head, a location which probably coincided with the junction of the strips. A portion of the fracture surface was covered with copper that had been deposited in the molten state, while some was also present along the shank of the bolt, having apparently run in between the bolt and the hole in the strip. The bolt end adjacent to the fracture had been subjected to intense local heating. The extent of the grain-growth indicating that the temperature had been in the region of 1200 deg C (2192 deg F). When the temperature reached the melting-point of copper, 1083 deg C (1981 deg F), molten metal came into contact with the bolt, into which it penetrated along the grain boundaries, culminating in rupture.