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MET 450/550 Forensic Engineering

Spring 2017
HMWK#3
Due: February 22, 2017 (2pm)

Notes to Students:
Homework should have date, name, title of assignment on top/first page (at minimum).
Name on all pages.

1. From inspection of Figures 1 and 2 below, please label the figure with the dominant fracture
mechanism (e.g. transgranular cleavage, microvoid coalescence, intergranular fracture). Also,
please comment on the features that you have observed in order to make your conclusion.

(a) (b)
Figure 1: Scanning electron microscope image at a) high and b) low magnification.

Figure 2: Scanning electron microscope image of fracture surface at high magnification.


2. Figure 3 shows three different SEM images of ductile cast iron (different samples). For each
figure, comment what the crack propagation mechanism is and also label features in the
micrograph that lead you to this conclusion. Finally, label the regions of graphite.

Figure 3: SEM images of fracture surface in ductile cast iron.


3. Please inspect Figures 4 and 5 below taken from an aircraft engine cardon shaft that failed in
service. Please provide a brief analysis of this failure by indicating the failure mode (Tensile
Overload, Bending Overload, Torsion Overload, Fatigue, Creep, etc) and the microscopic
failure mechanism. Also, please comment if you would consider this a Ductile or Brittle
failure (in the macroscopic sense). You need to label and describe any features in these
images that have lead you to your conclusion. Also, please provide a sketch which shows the
state of stress in the component (Hint: 2-D stress element would be nice).

Figure 4: Picture of failed shaft with arrow pointing to location of fracture.

Figure 5: SEM image of the fracture surface of the shaft at a) low magnification and b) high
magnification.
4. Please inspect Figures 6 below showing fracture of high strength screws. Please provide a
brief analysis of this failure by indicating the failure mode (Tensile Overload, Bending
Overload, Torsion Overload, Fatigue, Creep, etc) and the microscopic failure mechanism.
Also, please comment if you would consider this a Ductile or Brittle failure (in the
macroscopic sense). You need to label and describe any features in these images that have
lead you to your conclusion. Also, please provide a sketch which shows the state of stress in
the component (Hint: 2-D stress element would be nice). Finally, for extra credit please
provide a hypothesis for what happened, i.e. why did these parts failed.

Investigation Information: M5 0.8 mm, class 8.8 metric screws with a proprietary head
design were failing during installation. The screws were reportedly failing under the
specified installation torque. The typical failed fasteners are shown in Figure 6(a). The
fractographic features were consistent with dimple rupture. Figure 6(b) shows a characteristic
cross-section profile of one of the fractured screws. The chemical composition of the
fasteners was not verified, but proof load and tension testing of exemplar screws from the
same lot revealed results within specification. The fracture surface of tension-tested screws
was similar to those that failed during installation. Also, metallographic study revealed a
relatively uniform martensitic microstructure. No gross defects or evidence of cleavage
behavior were identified.

Figure 6: Fracturing of high-strength screws. (a) Two grade 8 high-strength steel fasteners that
failed on installation. (b) Necking and stretching between adjacent thread crests are evident on a
cross section. Unetched. 8.9
5. Please inspect Figures 7 below showing forming cracks in stainless steel wire. Please provide
a brief analysis of this failure by indicating the failure mode (Tensile Overload, Bending
Overload, Torsion Overload, Fatigue, Creep, etc) and the microscopic failure mechanism.
Also, please comment if you would consider this a Ductile or Brittle failure (in the
macroscopic sense). You need to label and describe any features in these images that have
lead you to your conclusion. Also, please provide a sketch which shows the state of stress in
the component (Hint: 2-D stress element would be nice).

Investigation Information: Cold-drawn type 303 stainless steel wire sections, 6.4 mm (0.25
in.) in diameter, failed during a forming operation. All of the wires failed at a gradual 90
bend. High-magnification visual examination disclosed many fine ruptures (cracks)
accompanying a typical fracture (Figure 7a). These ruptures occurred at the outside of the
bend and exhibited gross deformation (Figure 7b). No defects from manufacture of the wire
were evident. The fracture and crack surfaces exhibited dimples (Figure 7c). The dimples
appeared to initiate at nonmetallic inclusions inherent in this free-machining steel.
Microstructural examination indicated there was no alteration in the fracture and crack
regions. Substantial distortion of the grains was apparent at the ruptures.

Figure 7: Forming cracks on stainless steel wire. (a) The fracture, shows many parallel cracks.
5.3. (b) A typical crack on the wire surface. Scanning electron micrograph. 71. (c)
representative image of the interior of the crack and fracture surface showing the surface
morphology. Scanning electron micrograph. 1187.
6. Please inspect Figures 8 and 9 below taken from a failed medium carbon cast steel eyebolt
installed on the ceiling of a high school gymnasium. The eyebolt was used for students to
practice climbing rope. Please provide a brief analysis of this failure by indicating the failure
mode (Tensile Overload, Bending Overload, Torsion Overload, Fatigue, Creep, etc) and the
microscopic failure mechanism. Also, please comment if you would consider this a Ductile
or Brittle failure (in the macroscopic sense). You need to label and describe any features in
these images that have lead you to your conclusion. Also, please provide a sketch which
shows the state of stress in the component (Hint: 2-D stress element would be nice).

Figure 8: Pictures of a) an un-failed eyebolt and all components, b) the failed eyebolt and
components.

Figure 9: Fractographs of the fracture surface of the failed eyebolt including, a) low
magnification optical microscope image of the fracture surface and b) SEM image of a
characteristic portion of the fracture surface.
PLEASE provide your answers in the space provided for the remainder of the homework.
7. Please answer the following questions:
a) The plain strain fracture toughness of a steel alloy (4140) is 55 ksiin at room
temperature. Would you expect the value to increase or decrease with the following
changes in loading conditions:

i. Decrease in temperature to -15C.

ii. High strain rate

b) If a metal object is subjected to a triaxial state of stress, would you expect more or less
plastic deformation when compared to the same object subjected to a biaxial state of
stress? Why? Assume the maximum normal stress is equivalent in magnitude in both
cases.

c) Define the term principal stress.

d) Is deformation twinning common in FCC alloys? Why or why not?

8. Describe (using a drawing or two) why necking of a ductile metal results in a cup-cone
fracture surface.
9. Please list the general macroscopic characteristics of a ductile and brittle fracture that may be
used to distinguish the two.

10. Please provide three key differences between Cleavage and Slip.

11. Describe the concept of critical resolved shear stress. (1-3 sentences in plenty)
12. Make a drawing showing the difference between fan patterns and rivermarks. Make sure
to show the direction of crack propagation.

13. How do rivermarks form during cleavage fracture? Hint: you may want to include a drawing
(5-6 sentences will be sufficient)

14. Consider the failure of two identical aluminum rods which failed under different loading
conditions. Rod 1 failed in bending and Rod 2 failed in torsion. For each case, make a drawing
showing the shape of the dimples you would expect to find on the fracture surface. How would
you be able to distinguish between the two fracture surfaces based on the microscopic features
alone?