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Gate Hinge Welding Failure

Metallurgical failure analysis was requested after a custom, hand fabricated dumpster gate hinge mechanism failed, fell on and injured a workman.  The subject gate and hinge was fabricated by a small welding shop.  The gate hinge is shown in Photograph A.

Overall view of gate hinge pin.
Photograph A.  Subject gate hinge pin welded to gate frame.
One of the failed gate hinge poles is shown in Photograph B.
Overall view of the gate hinge mounting pole.
Photograph B.  Gate hinge mounting pole in trash dumpster bay.

A close-up view of a typical hinge pin is shown in Photograph C.

Close-up view of un-welded hinge pin.
Photograph C.  The hinge pin is deformed but no weld failure occurred.
Two of the failed hinges are shown in Photograph D and E.
Close-up view of hinge pin receiver.
Photograph D.  Failed and wallowed out female hinge pin receiver.
Close-up view of failed fence pin receiver.
Photograph E.  Failed fence pin receiver. Note that no weld failure occurred.

No metallurgical testing was conducted. Visual examination confirmed that the subject trash dumpster gate hinges were not defectively welded. It is evident that the welds did not fail and that failure and dropping of the gate was the result of overloading the gate hinges.  Failure of the subject hinge pins were the result of defective design by the architectural design group and project structural engineer.

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J.E.I. Metallurgical, Inc.

5514 Harbor Town
Dallas, Texas 75287

Phone: (972) 934-0493
Fax: (469) 737-3938
Email: r.c.jerner@metallurgist.com

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