Spring Fatigue Fractures Due to Microstructural Changes in Service
An electric transport vehicle, similar to an electric trolley or subway rail car, experienced frequent breakdowns due to in-service fractures of torsion springs that support the weight of an overhead electric pickup assembly. Scanning electron microscopy and metallographic examinations determined that the fractures stemmed from electric arc damage. Intergranular quench cracks in the transformed untempered martensite on the surface of the spring provided crack initiations that propagated during operation causing fatigue fracture.
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