Journal of Failure Analysis and Prevention

, Volume 17, Issue 6, pp 1119–1125 | Cite as

A Case Study on Fatigue Failure of a Transmission Gearbox Input Shaft

  • M. Haghshenas
  • W. Savich
Technical Article---Peer-Reviewed


In this paper, a root cause analysis of premature failure of a gearbox input shaft, manufactured of AISI 1045-H, was performed through standard procedures for failure analysis. Shaft failed on cross oil hole through a helical fracture and therefore did not meet bogie 100,000 cycles during the verification with 10 Hz frequency cyclic testing. The fracture in the oil hole implied evidence of fatigue (i.e., beach marks on the fracture surface were clearly visible). Prior to improving the fatigue life and suggesting required remedial actions, mechanism of failure has to be understood, especially the initiating point of cracking. To this end, chemical analysis, microstructural characterization, fractography, hardness measurements, and finite element simulation were used to assess the nature of fracture in detail. The fractography analysis showed that fatigue beach marks originate from transition zone of the case on the cross oil hole. This is possibly due to the fact that torsional strength in this area is lower than torsional fatigue strength which leads to fatigue crack initiation, crack growth, and final fracture. At the end of this paper, proper remedial actions have been proposed.


Fatigue Failure Gearbox input shaft Torsional strength Tempered martensite 


  1. 1.
    X. Xiaolei, Y. Zhiwei, D. Hongxin, Eng. Fail. Anal. 13, 1351–1357 (2006)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. 2.
    J. JianPing, M. Guang, Eng. Fail. Anal. 15, 420–429 (2008)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. 3.
    M. Godec, D.J. Mandrino, M. Jenko, Eng. Fail. Anal. 16, 1252–1261 (2009)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. 4.
    C. Moolwan, S. Netpu, Proc. Social Behav. Sci. 88, 154–163 (2013)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. 5.
    G. Atxaga, A.M. Irisarri, Eng. Fail. Anal. 17, 714–721 (2010)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. 6.
    H.-S. Han, Eng. Fail. Anal. 44, 285–298 (2014)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. 7.
    S.K. Bhaumik, R. Rangaraju, M.A. Parameswara, M.A. Venkataswamy, T.A. Bhaskaran, R.V. Krishnan, Eng. Fail. Anal. 9, 457–467 (2002)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. 8.
    S. Li, J. Yang, A. Chang, C. Zhang, Y. Gao, M. Wu, X. Wu, M. Li, J. Zhang, Mater. Sci. Forum 850, 101–106 (2016)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. 9.
    H. Streng, C. Razim, J. Grosh, Influence of hydrogen and tempering on the toughness of case-hardened structures, in G. Krauss, editor, Carburizing: processing and performance (Colorado, Lakewood, 1989), p. 311–3117Google Scholar
  10. 10.
    G. Straffelini, L. Versari, Eng. Fail. Anal. 16, 1448–1453 (2009)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. 11.
    Standard J423_1998 (02) Methods of Measuring Case Depth Google Scholar
  12. 12.
    ASM Handbook, Volume 4A, Steel Heat Treating Fundamentals and Processes J. Dossett and G.E. Totten, editors, Introduction to Surface Hardening of SteelsGoogle Scholar
  13. 13.
    ISO 18203:2016, Steel-determination of the thickness of surface-hardened layersGoogle Scholar
  14. 14.
    G.A. Fett, Metal Prog. 127, 49–52 (1985)Google Scholar
  15. 15.
    G.A. Fett, Heat Treat. Prog. 9, 15–19 (2009)Google Scholar

Copyright information

© ASM International 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Mechanical EngineeringUniversity of North DakotaGrand ForksUSA
  2. 2.Frank Hasenfratz Centre of Excellence in ManufacturingLinamar CorporationGuelphCanada

Personalised recommendations