Fatigue Failure of a Compressor Crankshaft Due to the Application of Weld Metal
The crankshaft of a compressor fractured through the web remote from the driving end after about three years of service. The fracture ran diagonally across the web into the crankpin. It passed through the centers of two screwed plugs inserted into the web from opposite faces approximately in line with the crankpin center line. The fracture was of the fatigue type, slowly developing cracks having started from opposite sides of each tapped hole and crept across the section. Microstructure of the crankshaft indicated the material was a plain carbon steel, the carbon content being of the order of 0.3%. The failure resulted principally from the stress-raising effects of the screw holes combined with the cracks in the welds. If the screw holes had been left unfilled or if some form of mechanical locking had been used if plugged, failure would have been postponed if not averted.