Fracture Mechanics Analysis of Fatigue Failures in Crankshafts With Drilled Holes and Surface Compression
Several crankshaft failures occurred in equipment that was being used in logging operations in subzero temperatures. Failure usually initiated at a cracked pin oil hole, and the failure origin was approximately 7.6 mm (0.3 in.) from the shaft surface. The holes were produced by gun drilling, giving rise to surface defects. The fracture surface was characteristic of fatigue in that it was flat, relatively shiny, and exhibited beach marks. The crack surface was at a 45 deg angle to the axis of the shaft, indicating dominant tensile stresses. The material was the French designation AFNOR 38CD4 (similar to AISI type 4140H) and was in the quenched-and-tempered condition, with a yield strength of about 760 MPa (110 ksi). It was treated to have compressive surface stresses, and the prior-austenite grain size was ASTM 8. Analysis (visual inspection, stress analyses, and macrographs) supported the conclusion that failure was caused by fatigue stress caused by surface defects in the oil holes. Recommendation includes drilling the oil holes by a technique that essentially eliminates surface defects.