Failure of a Jack Cylinder
A jack cylinder split open during simulated service testing. The intended internal test pressurization was reportedly analogous to typical service. The material and mechanical properties of the cylinder pipe were unknown, although subsequent testing showed that the pipe satisfied the requirements for a grade 1045 medium-carbon, plain carbon steel. Investigation (visual inspection, chemical analysis, 2% nital etched 119x images, and tension testing) supported the conclusion that the cylinder pipe burst in a mixed brittle-ductile manner due to overpressurization. It is likely that the bearing strength of the pipe was slightly compromised by a low-strength layer of decarburization. Recommendations included evaluating the testing procedure for the possibility of inadvertent overpressurization and analyzing successfully tested cylinders to identify changes in material, and perhaps heat treatment, that may have contributed to this failure.