December 19, 2016
Dr. Joseph Lemberg, Dr. Robert Caligiuri, and co-author recently published "Fatigue Failure of a 2500-Ton Fore Press," in the Journal of Failure Analysis and Prevention.
Large industrial equipment can fail spectacularly, and analyzing the failure can prove difficult, as catastrophic failures can provide red herrings that confound the failure analysis. One such case involved the fatigue failure of a 2500-ton forge press. During operation, two tie rods failed, leading to catastrophic failure of the press.
During post-mortem analysis, several fatigue cracks were found in the upper platen of the forge press and misalignment of some of the tie rod nuts was observed. Finite element modeling revealed that the presence of the platen fatigue cracks and the misaligned nuts had little effect on the fatigue behavior of the press. Instead, the high strength of the two failed tie rods led to higher-than-intended service stresses in these tie rods and resulted in a reduced fatigue life.
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