Both halves of a gray cast iron transmission housing from a 50-ton dump truck were found to contain numerous cracks. The housing material was possibly G3000 grade designation for automotive gray cast iron. No service duration or material specifications were provided. Investigation (visual inspection, tensile testing, 2% nital etched 59x cross sections, and metallographic analysis) supported the conclusion that failure was due to applied stresses sufficient to fracture the castings which exhibited brittle overload cracks at highly stressed locations. No recommendations were made.
An axle shaft in an open-pit mining truck hauling overburden failed after operating for 27,000 h. Previous failures had resulted from longitudinal shear, but this had not, bringing material quality into question. Chemical analysis verified that the part was SAE4340 Ni-Cr-Mo alloy steel and thus met material specification. The failure was a result of torsional fatigue in the tensile plane, originating from one of several gouges around the splined radius of the shaft. The fatigue crack progressed for a large number of cycles before final fracture. The shaft met metallurgical requirements and should have withstood normal operating conditions. The spacing of the gouge marks coincided with the spacing of the splines, indicative of careless assembly with the mating wheel gear.