A metallurgical failure analysis was requested on a track hoe used to offload debris from barges. Reportedly, the track hoe bucket had several reinforcements added at the behest of the manufacturer, and subsequently the track hoe boom had failed. The boom failure occurred in a fillet weld where the bucket hydraulic cylinder support plate attached to the track hoe boom.
Based on visual examination and photographic documentation, failure of both the bucket and boom were the result of operational stresses attributable to the equipment usage. The subject braced track hoe bucket is shown in Photograph A.
Photograph A Dog bone brace (marked #3), which had cracked and had been replaced.
Photograph B Bucket of track hoe.
Photograph C Track hoe boom failure. Topography, texture and color gradation of the fracture surface
indicate that the failure was progressive and the result of metal fatigue.