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Journal of Failure Analysis and Prevention

, Volume 12, Issue 2, pp 139–144 | Cite as

Fatigue Failure of a Drive Shaft

  • Marina Banuta
  • Isabelle Tarquini
Case History—Peer-Reviewed

Abstract

The drive shaft in the propulsion system of a boat broke, while the vessel was sailing along the Western Canadian coast. This part was made from a low-alloy steel grade 4340 quenched and tempered. Fractographic investigation at macro scale revealed that the shaft failed under low rotating-bending variable stress. Fatigue propagation occurred on about 95% of the total cross section of the shaft, under both low-cycle and high-cycle fatigue mechanisms. It was found that the fillet radius present at the fracture’s origin was smaller than the one provisioned by design. This situation has raised the stress level at this location higher than the one taken into consideration at the moment of the design calculations and caused the initiation of the cracking. Moreover, although the shaft has been quenched and tempered, its actual hardness did not have the optimal value for long-life fatigue strength.

Keywords

Fatigue fracture Failure analysis Stress raiser Fatigue strength 

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Copyright information

© ASM International 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.SGS Canada Inc.—Materials EngineeringMontrealCanada

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