Fatigue Fracture of Modified 1035 Steel Cap Screws
A drive-line assembly failed during vehicle testing. The vehicle had traveled 9022 km (5606 mi) before the failure occurred. Both the intact and fractured parts of the assembly were analyzed to determine the cause and sequence of failure. Visual examination of the assembly showed three of four bearing caps, two cap screws, and one universal-joint spider had fractured. Examination of the three fractured bearing caps and the spider showed no evidence of fatigue but showed that fracture occurred in a brittle manner. The bearing cap that was not destroyed still contained portions of the two fractured cap screws. It was found that the two cap screws failed in fatigue under service stresses. The three bearing caps and the universal-joint spider broke in a brittle manner. The properties of the material in the cap screws did not fulfill the specifications. The modified 1035 steel was of insufficient alloy content. Also, the tensile strength and endurance limit were lower than specified and were inadequate for the application. The material for the cap screw was changed from modified 1035 steel to 5140 steel.