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In TAKR 300 (Bob Hope) Class transport ships, the builder observed cracking of steel cloverleaf vehicle tie-down deck sockets following installation. Sockets were made from AH36 steel plate by flame cutting and cold coining, then submerged-arc welded to the shop deck. Cracks initiated from the tip of the cloverleaf pattern in >300 cases aboard several cargo vessels in various stages of construction. Consultants who analyzed the situation concluded that the problem may have been corrosion and hydrogen embrittlement. Three possible mechanisms of failure were considered: overload failure; fatigue fracture; and, environmentally-assisted cracking. Testing indicated overload failure was the cause....

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