It’s not just living things that can tire out to the point of suffering injury or a total breakdown. In fact, metal can also tire out. But the amount of time it takes for metal to succumb to exhaustion depends on several factors—including what metal part or application it is, the type of metal used and the type of work a metal part does. When tiredness and problems crop up, it’s referred to as “metal fatigue,” and this common type of stress damage to metal components tends to start out as cracks.
What is metal fatigue?
Metal fatigue occurs in parts and applications made of metal—especially metals molded to components for use on heavy machinery. This process damages materials slowly, with a level of stress and strain that’s not quite enough to completely break the metal. Whether a metal presents with big or small problems, metal fatigue is likely to lead to the need for professional metallurgical services in Gastonia, NC.
Causes of metal fatigue
As mentioned above, stress and strain on metal can lead to cracking. From there, cracks can turn into dangerous fractures, which is why it’s important you don’t ignore any cracks or thin fracturing during regular inspections, or if you notice them at a glance. The causes of the development of metal fatigue vary from one metal material to another, but for the most part, it has to do with the constant loading of weight on things like working gears, multiple parts making contact with each other or damage to metal equipment used for pounding.
Metal fatigue is a type of damage that occurs over time, as if lying in wait for the next regular load to fall under stressed metal materials. This happens because a metal material with a fracture is not meant to go on working as usual, let alone right and proper—because the metal has lost strength and structural integrity, making the chance for total failure under stress and strain more likely.
Furthermore, metal fatigue can become dangerous if damage is not fixed. For example, inventory can be lost or workers injured should total failure occur while a part or piece of machinery is in operation. What’s more is that metal fatigue is not always predictable, which is the case a lot of the time. So, while there are times you may not see visual evidence of failure that’s about to occur, it’s not unusual to uncover weak spots in the form of cracks and fractures.
Keep in mind that if a stressed metal cannot be repaired through a metallurgical process, then the part should not be used for its intended purpose any longer.
If you work with metal parts or components for a long period of time, then the likelihood you will run into problems associated with metal fatigue increases. But there’s a chance you won’t have to scrap fractured metal. To find out the condition of your metal tools and components, contact J.F. Heat Treating Inc., the best team in town for professional metallurgical services in Gastonia, NC.