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Stress analyses incorporating stress concentration, fatigue, and fracture calculations should be an important aspect of failure analyses. The following description of a saw arbor failure provides a simple example of this necessity. The failure was a classical stepped shaft in bending fatigue failure. Stress concentration at the change in diameters was calculated to be a factor of five. However, stress calculations revealed normally expected stresses to be well below the endurance limit even with the stress concentration effects. Additional investigation revealed evidence for severe imbalance loads from one saw blade. It was hypothesized that some of the teeth from the carbide tipped saw had been knocked off, and the resulting imbalance loads were more than sufficient to initiate fatigue cracking.
fatigue, stress concentration, stress analysis, mutual hardness calculations
President, Metallurgical Consulting, Inc., Mobile, AL