Since 1983 Touchsone Research Laboratory has provided fast, accurate and affordable failure analysis to a wide range of industries – from underground mines to advanced spacecraft.

Steel Shot Cracking Failure

A manufacturer of cast steel shot asked Touchstone to examine some of its products to determine the reasons for excessive cracking.

A Touchstone team member performed chemical analysis and all values met specification. Rockwell hardness values of 59C were measured on the shot and this was within specification. Metallographic cross-sections revealed that all evidence of cracking occurred in long martensitic plates in the microstructure.

Upon further examination by Touchstone experts, it was determined that during production of the shot the metal was freezing in two stages. First, long martensite plates were formed, and when the remaining material transformed, it put high residual tensile stresses on the long plates of martensite – causing the unacceptable cracking.

Touchstone followed-up its detections with specific suggestions to eliminate the problem.

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