Brittle Fracture of an Excavator Boom Suspension Rope Anchorage Plate
An anchorage plate which fractured was one of a pair used as intermediate members through which the boom suspension ropes were attached to the jury-mast of an excavator. Failure of the plate released the ropes on one side of the boom, resulting in extensive damage to the latter and also bending of the other anchorage plate. The anchorage plates were 23 x 9 in. and had been flame-cut from mild steel plate. Collars were fillet-welded on each side at both ends to provide extra bearing area for the pins. Holes had then been flame-cut slightly under size and bored to final dimensions. The plates were given a slight set after flame-cutting to provide a more direct line of pull for the ropes. The fracture surface was bounded by narrow lips, indicative of shear failure. Failure of the anchorage plate was attributed to cracks present at the junctions of the fillet welds, and deficient notch-ductility of the material from which the plates were made.