Fatigue Failure of a Diesel Engine Piston Pin
A marine diesel running at 350 rpm had satisfactorily completed 13,000 h before failure of one of the piston pins took place. The pin, 17 in. long, with a central bore of 3 in. diam, failed transversely approximately 3 in. from one end. The characteristic conchoidal markings indicative of fatigue failure were present with origins at about the mid-thickness of the pin located each side of the step in the fracture surface. In addition, cracking was evident in the axial direction. The crack ran into one of the radial oil holes near the end of the pin. A further section was taken transverse to the crack surface and subsequent examination confirmed the presence of a slag inclusion on the edge of the crack. The inclusion ran the full length of the component. The stress raising effect of the inclusion in combination with the residual and service stresses served to initiate the cracking in the longitudinal direction. Although the longitudinal crack preceded the transverse ones, it would appear that once initiated, the latter developed at a greater rate than the former.