Failure of a Fan Support Casting
A fan support casting failed unexpectedly while running at 1800 rpm in pulp at 65 deg C (150 deg F). The leading edge of the blade exhibited deep spongy holes leading to reduced section and finally to fracture of the part when the remaining section size was insufficient to support the load. Analysis showed the support casting to be a standard 8620 type composition with a hardness of 311 HRB. The design of the casting was not streamlined. There were several square corners present where great pressure differences could be generated. This was a case of erosion-corrosion with the classic spongy appearance of cavitation. Two changes were proposed: streamlining the part to avoid abrupt changes in fluid flow; and a change in alloy to a more corrosion-resistant material (304 or preferably 316) to increase the tenacity of protective films.