Fatigue Failure Analysis of a Crankshaft
A crankshaft in a diesel engine fails. Examination of the crankshaft reveals no plastic deformation. The fracture surface is smooth. In addition, several other cracks appear at other locations in the crankshaft. What type of failure mechanism occurred?
Since the crankshaft is a rotating part, the surface experiences cyclical loading. We should immediately suspect fatigue. The absence of plastic deformation supports our suspicion. Furthermore, the presence of other cracks is consistent with fatigue; the other cracks did not have time to grow to the size that produced catastrophic failure. Examination of the fracture surface will probably reveal beach marks or fatigue striations.