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Lion DVD

AFA I

CHAPTER: Crankshafts

Crankshafts
Service Training Malaga 1

Welcome to a continuation of our failure analysis seminar.

In this section we will learn to apply failure analysis principles to crankshafts.

Lion DVD

AFA I

CHAPTER: Crankshafts

In This Presentation
Nomenclature Function Materials Manufacturing Operation Normal Appearance Failure Analysis
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First we will review some facts about crankshaft functions, materials, and manufacturing processes. Then we will review crankshaft operation and normal appearance.

Finally we will look at crankshaft failure analysis using the eight steps and our visual examination procedure to discover roadsigns that can guide us to the root cause of failure.

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AFA I

CHAPTER: Crankshafts

Nomenclature

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Let's begin by looking at crankshaft nomenclature, function and structure.

Crankshafts are heat treated forgings consisting of rod and main journals held together by webs or counterweights. Each journal blends through a fillet into sidewalls. One main journal has specially ground sidewalls called thrust faces.

Rod journals contain lightening holes reducing the weight of steel orbiting around the main journals. The main and rod journals contain drilled oil passages that provide an oil path from the block to the main and rod bearings.

Some crankshafts have flanges on the front and rear to provide oil sealing surfaces, or to hold gears, dampers, and flywheels.

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CHAPTER: Crankshafts

Crankshaft Functions
Convert Reciprocating to Rotary Motion Carry Heavy Bending, Torsional & Thrust Loads Deliver Pressurized Oil to Main & Rod Bearings Provide Bearing with Hard Wear Resistant Surface Deliver Power to Gears & Flywheel Provide Sealing Surface for Oil Seals

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Crankshafts perform six functions:

1)change reciprocating up and down motion into rotary motion 2)carry heavy bending, torsional, and thrust loads 3)deliver pressurized oil to main and rod bearings 4)provide hard wear resistant surfaces for main bearings 5)deliver power to gear trains and flywheels

and rod

6)provide sealing surfaces for front and rear main oil seals.

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CHAPTER: Crankshafts

Materials
Natural metal flow lines

Forged High/Medium Carbon Steel

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To perform these functions, Cat crankshafts are forged from plain carbon steel. Forging maintains natural metal flow lines that follow crank contours. This gives greatly increased resistance to fillet cracking from bending loads and exceptional axial strength to withstand torsional loads.

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CHAPTER: Crankshafts

Hardening Process

Medium Carbon Steel

Furnace Heated and water quenched Hardness Rockwell C 48 Deep 2.5mm

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Rough forgings are first machined and then heat treated. 3200, 3300, 3400 and 3508 crankshafts made from medium carbon steel are furnace heated and water quenched to produce a Rc 48 minimum surface hardness with a case about .100 inches (2.5 mm) deep over the main and rod journal wear surface and fillets. This hardened material reduces journal wear and gives fillets increased strength to counteract the stress concentrating effect of the small fillet radii.

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AFA I

CHAPTER: Crankshafts

Hardening Process

High Carbon Steel

Induction Hardened and water quenched Shot peened fillet radius

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Most other crankshafts are made from high carbon steel, induction heated and water quenched on the main and rod journal wear surfaces only, to provide a hard, wear resistant surface. The larger fillet radius of these cranks can be sufficiently strengthened by shot peening and do not require heat treatment. Shot peening leaves beneficial compressive stresses in the fillets that increase fatigue strength and resist crack formation.

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CHAPTER: Crankshafts

Hardening Process
Rockwell C 40 Ground and Polished to final finish

Medium Carbon Steel

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To minimize bearing friction and wear, crankshaft main and rod bearing journals haye hard, wear resistant surfaces ground to very smooth finishes. Cat cranks are hardened above Rc 40 and polished to a 5 microinch surface finish, the best in the industry.

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CHAPTER: Crankshafts

Crankshaft Forces

Bending - Fillets Torsion - Journals Thrust - Sidewalls

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In the process of converting reciprocating to rotational motion, the crankshaft is subjected to tremendous bending forces in the rod and main journal fillets, twisting (torsional) forces on the rod and main journal surfaces, and thrust (axial) forces on the thrust journal sidewalls. Piston combustion gas loads are transfered to the rod journals in some cases producing fillet bending loads exceeding 100,000 p.s.i. Gear and flywheel loads, as well as loads from pistons being in various portions of the power cycle, produce torsional and thrust loads strong enough to break crankshafts through thick rod and main journals if problems occur.

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AFA I

CHAPTER: Crankshafts

Bending Loads

Combustion Stroke

High tensile stresses rod fillets Compressive stresses in main fillets


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Combustion loads push conrods against rod journals creating high tensile stresses in the rod journal fillets.

The slight journal bending that occurs, puts compressive stresses on the main journal fillets. The forging flow lines and shot peened or heat treated fillet material carry the rod journal tensile stresses preventing crack formation.

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CHAPTER: Crankshafts

Bending Loads

End of Combustion Stroke

Low tensile stresses in main fillets compressive stresses in rod fillets

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As pistons complete the power stroke, they create low tensile stresses in the main journal fillets and compressive stresses in the rod journal fillets.

Later, when we discuss bending fatigue failures, this information will be very useful to us.

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CHAPTER: Crankshafts

Torsional Loads

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As pistons fire, each rod journal sees different loads, but must move in unison with the others. Resistance to movement at either end of the shaft adds to this load as gears and flywheels transfer power into mating gears or transmissions. The combined effect produces twisting or torsional crankshaft loading.

This causes the crankshaft to wrap up slightly like a spring produces flexing during operation.

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CHAPTER: Crankshafts

Thrust Load
Carried by one main journal

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As power is taken from the shaft to drive gear trains, accessories, vehicle transmissions, etc., axial forces develop which push the crankshaft one direction or the other in the block.

These axial forces are called thrust loads which are carried by one main journal thrust wall acting against a thrust bearing in the block.

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CHAPTER: Crankshafts

Eight Steps of Applied Failure Analysis


1. State Problem Clearly & Concisely 2. Organize Fact Gathering 3. Observe & Record Facts 4. Think Logically with the Facts 5. Identify Most Probable Root Cause 6. Communicate with Responsible Party 7. Make Repair as Directed 8. Follow-Up with Customer
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The safest way to proceed in analyzing crankshaft failures is to use the Eight Steps of Applied Failure Analysis.

This helps us gather necessary facts, identify fracture types, and follow roadsigns to the real root cause of failure.

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CHAPTER: Crankshafts

Inspect All Surfaces

Inspect Bearings Inspect Fillets Inspect Fractures


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Before beginning visual examination, all involved parts should be arranged as they were removed from the engine. A careful inspection of bearings can tell us if crankshaft taper or alignment was bad, if a spun bearing generated lots of heat on a rod journal, if fillet contact was a result of crankshaft failure or a cause, etc. Fracture examination can tell us types of fractures present, where they started, what stress raiser started the crack, and whether they were causes or results.

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AFA I

CHAPTER: Crankshafts

Crankshaft Failures Bending Fatigues - Main Fillets - Rod Fillet Torsional Fatigue - Main Journals - Rod Journals
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Crankshafts fail in bending or torsional fatigue. Bending fatigue starts in the main or rod fillet at or near the surface. It can be caused by application, remanufacturing, materials, or process problems.

Torsional fatigue starts on the main or rod journal surface area and spirals around the shaft. it is usually caused by material or process problems. Major improvements in steel cleanliness over the last decade are making material related failures rare.

We will become familiar with roadsigns of bending and torsional fatigue after which we

will look at various kinds of stress raisers and their roadsigns.

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CHAPTER: Crankshafts

Bending Fatigue

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This is a rod journal and adjacent web from a D348 crankshaft. What roadsigns are present?

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CHAPTER: Crankshafts

Bending Fatigue

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When we have located the initiation site, we should look more closely for additional road signs. What additional road signs do we see here and what are they telling us?

Ans. - Ratchet marks and multiple initiation sites indicating the presence of high tensile stresses or some type of defect acting to raise the stresses. Where did the fatigue crack start and how does this relate to the crank loading we learned about earlier?

Ans. - The crack started in a main journal fillet meaning combustion loading was probably not responsible. Combustion loads put main fillets into compression and tensile stresses are required to make cracks start.

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CHAPTER: Crankshafts

Bending Fatigue

Reverse Bending

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This is another D348 rod journal and web. What fracture roadsigns are present? Ans. - Flat, smooth fracture with beach marks starting at the main fillet. Also a fatigue crack with beach marks and ratchet marks starting at the rod fillet. Ductile final fracture occured where the two fatigue cracks met. Which fatigue crack started first?

Ans. - The main journal crack since it has grown longer under lower loads as evidenced by the fine, close spaced beach marks. What caused the ratchet marks and second fatigue crack at the rod fillet?

Ans. - Once the main fillet crack had weakened the web cross section, the high combustion forces overloaded the rod fillet starting a crack growing the other direction. This is called reverse bending fatigue.

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CHAPTER: Crankshafts

Torsional Fatigue

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Now let's look at torsional fatigue roadsigns. As with bending fatigue, torsional fatigue results in flat smooth fractures with beachmarks radiating away from the crack initiation site where ratchet marks may be present.

Unlike bending fatigue, torsional fatigue spirals around a rod or main journal starting from stress raisers in oil holes or lightening holes, or from material flaws at or just below journal surfaces.

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CHAPTER: Crankshafts

Torsional Fatigue

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This rod journal from a 3208 crankshaft has undergone torsional fatigue.

To correctly identify the crack initiation site we should look for the area where beach marks are very fine or cannot be seen. Coarse, wide spaced beach marks indicate we are approaching final fracture, while close spaced or difficult

to see beach marks indicate we are near the crack origin. Using these roadsigns, we locate the crack initiation site at the bottom of the lightening hole. We would next look for stress raisers such as undercutting by the drill point or quench cracks.

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CHAPTER: Crankshafts

Fracture Causes

Material Flaws Process Errors

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Some crankshaft fractures result from material flaws and processing errors. Since materials and processes are carefully controlled by steel mills, forgers, and Caterpillar, very few crankshafts fracture in service.

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AFA I

CHAPTER: Crankshafts

Material Flaws

Inclusions Seams Pipe Flake


Service Training Malaga 23

Material flaws such as inclusions, seams, pipe, flakes, etc. were discussed in the metallurgy section of this seminar.

Any of these defects can be present in crankshaft steel, but inclusions and flaking are most common. The roadsigns of material related failures is fatigue initiating from a subsurface origin.

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CHAPTER: Crankshafts

Material Flaws

(Inclusion)

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This 3512 crankshaft was returned to Cat for failure analysis.

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CHAPTER: Crankshafts

Material Flaws

(Inclusion)

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The fracture appears to be bending fatigue occuring between a rod and main journal.

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CHAPTER: Crankshafts

Material Flaws

(Inclusion)

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A closer look at the fracture faces shows the bending fatigue fracture initiated in a main journal fillet with final failure at the rod journal fillet. No ratchet marks are present but the beach marks are very distinct.

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CHAPTER: Crankshafts

Material Flaws

(Inclusion)

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Tracing the beach marks back to the origin, we see what appears to be a fatigue fracture starting right at the main journal fillet.

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CHAPTER: Crankshafts

Material Flaws

(Inclusion)

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Using better lighting and magnification, we see the initiation site is internal and a stress raiser is present.

This inclusion was large enough and close enough to the highly stressed fillet to initiate a fatigue crack. Subsurface fatigue creates circular beachmark patterns radiating away from the flaw.

Sometimes, overloading a part may cause an internal crack to start from a flaw that would not have caused a problem had loading remained normal. We should avoid blaming the material flaw until we check the loading conditions.

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CHAPTER: Crankshafts

Material Flaws

(Hydrogen Flake)

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29

This bending fatigue failure occured in a 3408 crankshaft at the web between the first main and rod journal.

Fatigue initiated well below the rod journal surface.

The stress raiser in this case is a hydrogen flake present in the steel before forging. Notice the roadsigns are identical to those of an inclusion related failure. We may not be able to tell the difference between types of material flaws, but we can recognize the similarity of the roadsigns that say a material flaw was involved. Large flaws or overloading can make the material defect the weakest link in the chain.

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CHAPTER: Crankshafts

Processing Errors

Forging Heat Treating Straightening Grinding


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Process errors can occur during forging, heat treating, straightening or grinding. We will take a few minutes to look at typical fracture roadsigns produced by each.

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CHAPTER: Crankshafts

Processing Errors
Failed after 80 hours of service

(Forging Burns)

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This 3408 crankshaft failed after 80 hours of service in a 988B. The fracture through the web shows smooth areas, roadsigns of fatigue, and rough areas that may be brittle or ductile.

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CHAPTER: Crankshafts

Processing Errors
Subsurface originating fatigue

(Forging Burns)

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A closer look under better lighting shows the crystalline brittle areas acted as initiation sites for fatigue which grew to the web surfaces. The large brittle areas are forging burns which occur when the steel is overheated during forging creating internal melting.

The large grains that form on cooling do not stick to each other and form internal cracks which grow under load.

Again, the roadsigns are subsurface originating fatigue, and in this case, large subsurface ratchet marks.

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CHAPTER: Crankshafts

Processing Errors
Quench Crack

(Heat Treating)

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Heat treat quench cracks may occur during the severe water cooling of the forging from 16000F (870C).

If oil hole chamfers are not right, or quench water becomes too cool, stresses set up during quenching can cause small thumbnail shaped cracks in the oil holes. These tiny quench cracks become stress raisers that initiate a fatigue crack in service. Careful visual examination at the fatigue origin will usually reveal the small crack that started the entire problem. Such a crack is located just above the center of this slide.

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CHAPTER: Crankshafts

Processing Errors
Straightening Crack

(Heat Treating)

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Here's another bending fatigue failure starting in the main fillet of a 3208 crankshaft. Roadsigns are beach marks, ratchet marks and an unusual appearing fracture between the fillet surface and the internal fatigue crack initiation site. This area is a pre-existing crack caused by overstraightening.

The crack was present when the crank went into service, acted as a severe stress raiser, and initiated a fatigue crack with the large ratchet marks we see here.

Anytime we see fatigue initiating below the part's surface, we know a pre- crack existed or a material flaw was present.

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CHAPTER: Crankshafts

Reconditioned Crankshafts

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Another major source of crankshaft failures is not related to Caterpillar materials, suppliers or processes.

Many crankshafts are reconditioned by machine shops that are not aware of the materials and processes used to make Cat cranks. During reconditioning, they introduce stress raisers by using processes that are not compatible with the materials or previous processes used to make the shaft.

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CHAPTER: Crankshafts

What do you see ?


Beach Marks, subsurface

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Looking carefully at the fracture, we notice beachmarks appear to start well below the crank surface at a polished area.

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CHAPTER: Crankshafts

What do you see ?


Straightening crack

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A closer look fails to show any beach or ratchet marks in the polished area, but does reveal that another crack existed from the fillet surface down to the polished area. This shallow precrack resembles a straightening crack but fatigue does not begin there.

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CHAPTER: Crankshafts

What do you see ?

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The roadsigns are telling us this failure is very unusual, and we should gather facts from the rest of the crank. Looking at the thrust face, we see two irregular dark lines running around the ground thrust surface. Since this is abnormal, we should investigase it further.

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CHAPTER: Crankshafts

What do you see ?

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Looking at the other side of the fracture, we see the entire thrust face has these two irregular circumferential shaped grooves going around it.

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CHAPTER: Crankshafts

What do you see ?


Re- welded Thrust face ?!!!!

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Using angled lighting and magnification, we find an obvious weld bead at one location in this area giving us the answer to the riddle. This crankshaft had failed, possibly due to a thrust plate installed backwards.

It was then sent to a rebuilder who machined the thrust face, filled it with weld metal, and reground it.

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Grinder Burns

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Grinder burning or cracking may not be detrimental unless it occurs in a high load area such as fillets or oil holes on journal surfaces. The fracture road signs that indicate a grinder related failure is the presence of ratchet marks indicating severe stress concentration. If the fatigue process has not polished the origin too badly, we might also see small thumbnail shaped cracks at the initiation site.

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