Broken Helical Compression Spring
A helical compression spring with ten turns made of 1.8 mm thick wire which was under high pressure during tension applied to a rocker arm broke on the test stand in the third turn. The fracture was a torsion fracture that initiated in the highly loaded inner fiber and showed in its origin the characteristics of a fatigue fracture. A longitudinal fold was located at the fracture crack breakthrough which could still be observed at the fourth and fifth turns, where a further incipient crack originated. A metallographic section was made directly next to the fracture path and the fold was cut. It showed decarburized edges in the outer slanted part and this most likely occurred during rolling. The inner radially proceeding part, however, was probably a fatigue fracture originating in the fold. The fracture of this highly stressed spring was therefore accelerated by a rolling defect. In order to decrease the stress, the construction has meantime been modified.