Journal of Failure Analysis and Prevention

, Volume 12, Issue 1, pp 16–23 | Cite as

Failure Mechanisms of an Automobile Clutch Assembly Cast Iron Pressure Plate

  • P. Psyllaki
  • G. Pantazopoulos
  • P. Karaiskos
Case History---Peer-Reviewed


The present study is focused on the failure mechanisms of an automobile clutch disc/pressure plate assembly due to abnormal operation of a passenger vehicle. Terminal malfunction of the part took place about one year after an accidental overloading incident. This component operates under sliding friction conditions, during which the pressure plate is pressed against the clutch disc with normal load that varies in a non-predictable manner, depending on the driving conditions. Commonly, the clutch disc is considered as “consumable” part that can be replaced when malfunction occurs, whilst the metallic pressure plate is considered to remain intact. However, in this particular case, visual inspection, macro-examination and microscopic observation using principally light and scanning electron microscopy of such a cast iron pressure plate revealed its severe long-term progressive failure, through extensive deep grooving and oxidation of the surface and the development of subsurface shear cracks.


Automobile clutch Pressure plate Grooving Oxidation Shear cracking Cast-iron Graphite flakes 


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Copyright information

© ASM International 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Laboratory of Tribology, Department of Mechanical EngineeringTechnological Education Institute of Piraeus (TEI)EgaleoGreece
  2. 2.ELKEME Hellenic Research Centre for Metals S.A.AthensGreece

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