Brittle Fracture of a Gray Iron Nut Due to Overload Caused by Misalignment in Assembly
A sand-cast gray iron flanged nut was used to adjust the upper roll on a 3.05 m (10 ft) pyramid-type plate-bending machine. The flange broke away from the body of the nut during service. Analysis (visual inspection and 150x micrographs of sections etched with nital) supported the conclusions that brittle fracture of the flange from the body was the result of overload caused by misalignment between the flange and the roll holder. The microstructure contained graphite flakes of excessive size and inclusions in critical areas; however, these metallurgical imperfections did not appear to have had significant effects on the fracture. Recommendations included carefully and properly aligning the flange surface with the roll holder to achieve uniform distribution of the load. Also, a more ductile metal, such as steel or ductile iron, would be more suitable for this application and would require less exact alignment.