Failure Investigation of an Aircraft Crankshaft Gear Connection
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Improper assembly of an aircraft crankshaft can have serious consequences. If an adequate joint clamping force is not applied to the connection between the crankshaft and crankshaft gear during assembly, relative motion in the system could create flexural loads on connection components, and cause damage such as cyclic fatigue cracking, shear overstress fracture, and plastic deformation. Many factors can contribute to insufficient joint clamping, including poor joint seating, the presence of a foreign object on the faying surface, and failure to apply proper torque during assembly. This paper reviews a case involving a crankshaft gear connection, which separated while the subject aircraft was in flight, causing the engine to fail and the aircraft to crash. To determine the root cause of the failure, a metallurgical analysis was performed.
KeywordsCrankshaft gear connection Cyclic fatigue cracking Joint clamping
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