Chapter 7

Q. 7.5

Automobile Axle Failure Analysis
An engineer investigating the cause of an automobile accident finds that the right rear wheel has broken off at the axle. The axle is bent. The fracture surface reveals a Chevron pattern pointing toward the surface of the axle. Suggest a possible cause for the fracture.


Verified Solution

The evidence suggests that the axle did not break prior to the accident. The deformed axle means that the wheel was still attached when the load was applied. The Chevron pattern indicates that the wheel was subjected to an intense impact blow, which was transmitted to the axle. The preliminary evidence suggests that the driver lost control and crashed, and the force of the crash caused the axle to break. Further examination of the fracture surface, microstructure, composition, and properties may verify that the axle was manufactured properly.