Journal of Failure Analysis and Prevention

, Volume 17, Issue 1, pp 79–85 | Cite as

Fatigue Fracture of a High-Resistance Structural Steel Component Destined to Sustain Severe Loads Under Service Conditions

  • S. Papaefthymiou
  • A. Vazdirvanidis
  • G. Pantazopoulos
  • C. Goulas
Technical Article---Peer-Reviewed


A structural steel component that failed under fatigue was examined with the aim to identify the root causes of this failure. Fractographic examination revealed the presence of multiple beach marks; the position and arrangement of those signified the occurrence of fatigue fracture under the presence of combined loading conditions, involving torsion and bending stress components. Crack initiation was observed also at the corners of the steel plate where non-metallic inclusions were located. Stereo-microscopical examination of the fracture surface likely revealed the presence of casting inclusions, probably fluxes or slag particles, near the surface and in the interior of the component. These inclusions could be considered inherent—metallurgical stress raisers, behaving as locations of prominent crack nucleation under cyclic fatigue loading, stimulating subsequent crack propagation and final ultimate rupture.


Failure analysis Fatigue fracture Fractography Microstructure characterization 


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Copyright information

© ASM International 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • S. Papaefthymiou
    • 1
    • 2
  • A. Vazdirvanidis
    • 2
  • G. Pantazopoulos
    • 2
  • C. Goulas
    • 3
  1. 1.Laboratory of Physical Metallurgy, Division of Metallurgy and Materials, School of Mining & Metallurgical EngineeringNational Technical University of AthensAthensGreece
  2. 2.ELKEME - Hellenic Research Centre for Metals S.A.56th km Athens – Lamia National RoadOinofyta ViotiasGreece
  3. 3.Department of Materials Science & Engineering, Materials Innovation Institute (M2i)Delft University of TechnologyDelftThe Netherlands

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