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Old 01-12-2005
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Stainless wire rigging condition

Checking for ''brittle failure/fatigue''.

In addition to GodMays post, I''d like to add that it may be of benefit to remove the rigging, one piece at a time, and off-the-boat, perform a dye penetrant inspection (Magnaflux, etc.) do discover fatigue and micro cracks that are invisible to the naked eye. WEST and other suppliers carry the dye penetrant - a three part system of dye, developer and cleaner. Dont do this ON the boat as the dye will penetrate the gelcoat and NEVER come out.
Be suspicios of any fitting that has developed ''dull'' spots on the surface. Stainless is NOT a good material for fatigue/cyclic loaded items, unless the parts are grossly overdesigned or are rarely loaded, the ''servicelife'' is very short. The only way to analyse is a dye penetrant inspection of other ''magnetic'' inspection. If the rigging is ''old'' - simply change it is the best policy.

Ductile Failure. If you have the *precise" length dimension of the original assembled stays, etc. check this value versus the current length. Ductile failure will result in permanent elongation (due to ''yield''). Easy to analyse if you have the precise original dimensions.

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