Failure of a Dragline Bucket Tooth
A cast dragline bucket tooth failed by fracturing after a short time in service. The tooth was made of medium-carbon low-alloy steel heat treated to a hardness of 555 HRB. The fracture surface was covered with chevron marks. These converged at several sites on the surface of the tooth. A hardfacing deposit was located at each of these sites. Visual inspection of the hardfacing deposits revealed numerous transverse cracks, characteristic of many types of hardfacing. This failure was caused by cracks present in hardfacing deposits that had been applied to the ultrahigh-strength steel tooth. Given the small critical crack sizes characteristic of ultrahigh-strength materials, it is generally unwise to weld them. It is particularly inadvisable to hardface ultrahigh-strength steel parts with hard, brittle, crack-prone materials when high service stresses will be encountered. The operators of the dragline bucket were warned against further hardfacing of these teeth.