Investigation on Failure of a Drilling Rig Mast Structure
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A drilling rig that was used for exploration of gaseous fuels was inspected. During its operation the rig mast suddenly collapsed and the structure got twisted from the middle. The failure investigation was carried out to determine the probable causes of failure in the rig. Estimation of mechanical properties, optical microscopic analysis along with scanning electron microscopy examinations were necessary supplements to this investigation. Detailed stress analysis of the structure for different conditions of loads and anchors was examined. It was ultimately concluded that non-functioning of record-o-meter was responsible for rapid increase in operating load and one or more cables/anchoring points did not have sufficient strength to withstand the operating load. The anchoring cable broke with a jerk and the mast structure collapsed under its weight.
KeywordsDefect analysis Failure analysis Fractography Structural Integrity
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