Technical Tips

Sharing knowledge gained from investigating the fundamental causes of failure.

Can high strength bolts be galvanised?


Bolts can be galvanised to good effect to prevent corrosion but one should be aware of the effects of hydrogen embrittlement when galvanising high strength bolts.

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Understand thermal fatigue or risk the potential for failure


Repetitive thermal loading on a localised basis can lead to thermal fatigue and extensive surface cracking. Although relatively rare, this phenomenon can have catastrophic consequences because it is generally not well understood.

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Ignore sources of atomic hydrogen that can promote hydrogen embrittlement at your peril!


Understanding the common sources of hydrogen can help assist in preventing the premature failure caused by the insidious effects of hydrogen embrittlement.

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Beware of the effects of hydrogen embrittlement!


The ductility of components particularly those manufactured from high strength material can be severely compromised by hydrogen embrittlement mechanisms causing them to fail with a short period in service.

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Changes in toughness associated with the operating temperature or material condition can lead to unexpected performance


Lowering the toughness of a material by changing the material composition/grade or unintentional heat treatment can lower the toughness of the material at the operating condition to promote brittle behaviour - causing unexpected failure

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Beware of the insidious efforts of residual stress which can have significant effect on fatigue performance!


In cyclic loading conditions, tensile residual stresses superimpose on the applied cyclic stresses and depending on the magnitude of the residual stress can promote failure at design stress levels.

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Benefits of surface finish and shot peening


In cyclic loading conditions failure by fatigue can be prevented / delayed by employing surface finish techniques like shot/laser penning.

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Beware of surface damage to electroless nickel plated components

JULY 2015

Choose the right coating for the job - flaws in electroless plated nickel coatings can cause failure of the underlying component.

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Understanding the relationship between sheave size and rope life

JUNE 2015

Inappropriate selection of the sheaves can lead to premature failure of wire rope by fatigue mechanisms.

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Don't underestimate the complexities of bolting - Reap the benefits of reduced bolt stiffness

MAY 2015

Gaskets, dirt, irregular/distorted member contact faces reduce member stiffness and can help promote failure by fatigue mechanisms.

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The importance of understanding loading, stresses and strains in structures

APRIL 2015

Poor understanding of the loading and resulting stresses / deflections in a structure may lead to damage or premature failure.

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The importance of surface finish and flaw size on fatigue life. Flaw size counts!!

MARCH 2015

Uncontrolled surface damage and poor surface finish can play a significant role in a components service life. Make every effort to prevent inadvertent mechanical damage and poor machining finish.

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