Fatigue Fracture That Initiated at a Forging Lap in a Connecting Rod for a Truck Engine
A connecting rod (forged from 15B41 steel and heat treated to a hardness of 29 to 35 HRC) from a truck engine failed after 73,000 Km (45,300 mi) of service. A piece of the I-beam sidewall of the rod, about 6.4 cm (2 in.) long, was missing when the connecting rod arrived at a laboratory for testing. Analysis (visual inspection, 100x nital-etched micrograph, fluorescent magnetic-particle testing, and metallographic examination) supported the conclusion that the rod failed in fatigue with the origin along the lap and located approximately 4.7 mm below the forged surface. The presence of oxides may have been a partial cause for the defect. Recommendations included better inspection of the forgings by fluorescent magnetic-particle testing before machining.