On 22 Feb 1997, one of the arms on an amusement park ride became detached from the central pylon, allowing the passenger carriage at the end of the arm to fall to the ground. Detachment of the arm was found to have occurred as a result of fracture of the cast steel bearing cap and the retaining bolt, which then allowed the axle to move out of its housing. The cap material was a cast 0.25% carbon steel. The retaining bolt failed in the threaded region, with no evidence of fatigue. One of the reinforcing straps welded to the outer surface of the cap had also fractured as the result of fatigue. Evidence of a weld repair could be seen at the location of the fracture. The bearing cap, cap 2L, failed by fatigue initiated from the corners of the two threaded holes. One of the two reinforcing straps then failed by overload, while the second one became detached by fracturing through the welds. The bolt then failed by overload. The cracking in cap 2L was not an isolated occurrence. Cracking was detected at the same location in almost all the other caps on the same device. The cracking had been in progress for considerable time. To prevent the reoccurrence of such a failure, recommendations are given for a more-rigorous inspection protocol.
A. Crosky, Failure of a Fairground Ride, ASM Failure Analysis Case Histories: Improper Maintenance, Repair, and Operating Conditions, ASM International, 2019, https://doi.org/10.31399/asm.fach.usage.c9001630
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