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Failure analysis was performed on threaded Ti-6Al-4V fasteners that had fractured in the threads during installation. Scanning electron microscopy (SEM) and optical metallography revealed that the fractures initiated in circumferential shear bands present at the thread roots. The fractures propagated by microvoid coalescence typical of that observed in notched tensile specimen fractures of the same material. For comparison, Ti-6Al-4V fasteners from various commercial sources were tested to failure in uniaxial tension and examined in the SEM. In all cases, the fracture appearances were similar to that exhibited by the fasteners that failed during installation. In addition, results of optical microscopy indicated that the geometry and extent of the shear bands appeared to depend on the fabrication process employed by the individual manufacturers. Causes of shear band formation are discussed along with potential methods to eliminate these microstructural in homogeneities.

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