Belt and Chain Drives
Drive cables from a rubber processing machine were failing in less than 8 h of operation, the expected service life being much greater than 100 h. Comparison cables were tested to failure under known stress conditions, including tensile overload, torsional loading, reversed bending alternating stress, and buckling (compressive) cyclic loading. The mode of failure was found to be reversed bending fatigue caused by drive cables moving over guide pulleys of small radii. Modifications of the machinery and drive cable system were suggested.
Induction-hardened teeth on a sprocket cast of low-alloy steel wore at an unacceptably high rate. A surface hardness of 50 to 51 HRC was determined; 55 HRC minimum had been specified. Analysis revealed that the alloy content of the steel was adequate for the desired hardenability but that the specified carbon content (0.29%) was too low. The low specified carbon content resulted in unacceptably low hardness. Because hardness largely controls wear rate, an early failure occurred. The specification for this part was changed so that a higher carbon content (0.45% C) was required.