June 2004

Engineering Case Histories

Case 21: Analyzing a spline failure

Torsional spline failures are telling you something

Sofronas, A., Consulting Engineer

The failure shown in Fig. 1 involves a rear axle spline shaft. While this specific case isn't about a piece of machinery typically used in petrochemical or other process plants, similar failures have been analyzed in turbomachinery gear units.  Fig. 1   The failure involved a rear axle spline shaft. Metallurgical evaluations help identify the various spline failure modes. Fretting and wear are usually associated with misalignment or lubrication issues. Fatigue failures can res

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