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The fatigue failure of a wire rope used on a skip hoist in an underground mine has been studied as part of the ongoing research by the Bureau of Mines into haulage and materials handling hazards in mines. Macroscopic correlation of individual wire failures with wear patterns, fractography, and microhardness testing were used to gain an understanding of the failure mechanism. Wire failures occurred predominantly at characteristic wear sites between strands. These wear sites are identifiable by a large reduction in diameter; however, reduction in area was not responsible for the location of failure. Fractography revealed multiple crack initiation sites to be located at other less noticeable wear sites or opposite the characteristic wear site. Microhardness testing revealed hardening, and some softening, at wear sites.

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