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    The Markham Mine Disaster

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    The authors have applied linear elastic fracture mechanics to an official accident investigation of a fatigue failure. A single-line component in the mechanical braking system controlling the descent of a cage in a mine shaft fractured; the cage failed to slow down and eighteen miners were killed by the impact. It is shown that significant perceptions of the events prior to fracture are possible using a fracture mechanics approach. A Paris-Erdogan analysis is performed to highlight the constraints and limitations of a fracture mechanics fatigue analysis when applied to a real engineering problem. The Markham accident was a landmark case study in that it stimulated a new philosophy with respect to brake design.


    ferrous metallurgy, strain gages, axial and bend stresses, bending theory, fatigue, fracture mechanics, estimating lifetime

    Author Information:

    Demaid, APA
    Lecturer on Materials, The Open University, Faculty of Technology, Milton Keynes,

    Lawley, A
    Professor, Drexel University, Philadelphia, PA

    Committee/Subcommittee: E08.08

    DOI: 10.1520/STP19345S