The Combined Effects of Notches and Microstructure on the Performance of Medium Carbon Steel Breakaway Couplings

[+] Author and Article Information
D. P. Henkel

Analytical Services & Materials, Inc., Hampton, VA

A. W. Pense

Lehigh University, Bethlehem, PA

J. Eng. Mater. Technol 116(1), 80-84 (Jan 01, 1994) (5 pages) doi:10.1115/1.2904258 History: Received January 01, 1992; Revised April 23, 1993; Online April 29, 2008


Combined effects of notches and microstructure on the structural performance of medium carbon steel breakaway couplings were discussed. Property troughs commonly associated with tempered martensite embrittlement were characterized as a function of temper for AISI 4130 and 4140 steel couplings. It was observed that a circumferential notch could change the fracture mode from ductile to brittle with no change in tempering condition. Notch-strengthening, a second significant effect, was also observed in similar couplings with an average strength increase of thirty percent. A critical assessment was made of the AASHTO specifications on breakaway couplings used for highway structures and of their interpretation by individual states.

Copyright © 1994 by The American Society of Mechanical Engineers
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