Scientia et technica

Failure analysis and repair of the telescopic beam belonging to the spreader of a reach stacker for port operations

Edgardo Manuel Buelvas Castro, Fabio Andres Bermejo Altamar, Ricardo Andrés Mendoza Quiroga


Reach stackers land equipment operating in ports of the Colombian Caribbean, are subject to several critical working conditions such as; corrosive environment, excess working hours, overload and lack of predictive maintenance. This work focuses on the failure analysis and the elaboration of the welding repair procedure of the telescopic beam belonging to the spreader of a Reach stacker that operates in a Colombian Caribbean seaport. Initially the fault zone was characterized; by mean a metallographic analysis and a hardness profile to identify the type of structural steel of which the beam is composed, obtaining an A514 grade C of 110KSI of tensile strength and 34HRC of hardness. The equipment manufacturer was verified and the established by the laboratory tests was corroborated. After identifying the material, the fracture area was analyzed where patterns of beach markings were found, typical of a fatigue failure which extended from the circumference of separating pins to the surface of the beam. The inclusion of the separators in the initial design generates stress concentrators in the welding of the pins which increases the fatigue zone combined with the excess load with which the equipment works. This fact could be verified with a technical bulletin published by the manufacturer brand "Taylor" where it indicates this type of failure for the telescopic beam of the Reach stackers. Successively, an FCAW type welding repair procedure is developed in accordance with AWS code D1.1, where the electrode to be used, the cords to be applied, the preheating, and the speeds and conditions recommended for filling the materials are selected cracks.  Finally it could be concluded that the fault was generated by fatigue and overload in the welding of the telescopic beam separator pins and its repair will be carried out according to a welding procedure of the AWS code D1.1. The analysis of these types of cases will allow the company to take actions to minimize the new occurrence of the failure such as periodic reviews in that area after the work hours recommended by the manufacturer and the awareness of the equipment operators with the handling of loads on the dock.

Palabras clave

Failure Analysis; fatigue; crack; beam; welding procedure

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