October 2019

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Engineering Case Histories: Case 108—Failure analysis computations differ from design

When equipment fails, it indicates weak points and usually exposes the cause(s) of the failure.

Sofronas, A., Consulting Engineer

When equipment fails, it indicates weak points and usually exposes the cause(s) of the failure. A designer of a new piece of equipment must examine all potential weak points of the design. When design equations do not contribute to determining why something failed, they should be modified. Fig. 1. Motor shaft loading model. Fig. 1 shows a motor shaft with a power belt turning an expeller through a gear unit. Every time this motor shaft rotates, the shaft stays in a slightly deflected position due to the drive belt tension and pre-tension. The bending stress is cyclic, and every circumferential point in the radius goes from tension at (A) to com

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