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A successful design for a small-capacity boat trailer roller arm was extended to a new larger-capacity boat trailer and placed into service. After operation of the trailers for a period of time, several failures of the roller arms were reported. The failures occurred while the trailers were loaded in service with resulting damage to the boat hulls. There was no prior warning of the failures.
This paper discusses the background of the components and the methods used for manufacturing the roller arms. It will discuss the analysis procedures used to determine the cause of the failures. Alternatives for design changes to the roller arms will be presented, along with the results of a test program that confirms the improvement in component life, based on the recommended change.
beachmark, failure analysis, fatigue, fracture surface, hardness, plasticity, stress concentration
Professor, Florida Atlantic University, Boca Raton, FL