Brittle Fracture of a Clamp Because of Burning During Forging
A ring clamp (8740 (AMS 6322), steel forged and cadmium plated) used for attaching ducts to an aircraft engine became loose after three hours of service. When the clamp was removed from the engine, the hinge tabs on one clamp half were found to be broken. Analysis (visual inspection and microscopic and metallographic examination) supported the conclusion that both hinge tabs on the clamp half fractured in a brittle manner as the result of gross overheating, or burning, during forging. The mechanical properties of the metal, especially toughness and ductility, were greatly reduced by burning. Evidence that burning was confined to the hinge end of the clamp indicated that the metal was overheated before or during the upset forging operation. Recommendations included notifying the supplier of the burned condition on the end of the clamp. The clamps should be macroetched before cadmium plating to detect overheating. The clamps in stock should be inspected to ensure that the metal had not been weakened by overheating during the upset forging operation.