Fatigue Fracture of a Taper Pin in a Clutch-Drive Assembly
The drive wheel on a clutch-drive support assembly was slightly loose and caused clutch failures in service after 680,000 cycles. After failure, removal of the taper pin holding the drive wheel on the shaft was difficult, indicating that the pin was tight in the assembly. The taper pin was made of 1141 steel, the shaft 1117 steel, and the drive wheel 52100 steel. It was found that failure of the clutch-drive support assembly occurred as a result of fatigue fracture of the taper pin. A loose fit between the drive wheel and the shaft and between the drive wheel and the pin permitted movement that resulted in fatigue failure. Fretting of the pin and drive shaft was observed but did not appear to have contributed to the failure. To prevent reoccurrence, the assembly should be redesigned to include an interference fit between the shaft and the drive wheel. The drive wheel and the shaft should be taper reamed at assembly to ensure proper fit. In addition, receiving inspection should be more critical of the components and accept only those that meet specifications.