Rotating Shaft Failure Investigations


​ESR Technology specialise in failure investigation and tribological testing of rotating components such as shafts and bearings.

Rotating shafts are used in a variety of machines including motors, drives and pumps.  Fractured shafts are often simply attributed to fatigue and replaced.  However, detailed examination of the initiation location can provide important information as to the cause of the failure.  Only when the root cause of failure can be determined can changes be made to prevent future failures, saving time and money. 

Fractures typically occur at stress raisers such as keyways or geometrical changes but can also initiate from surface damage such as fretting or off centre loads like bending. Various investigative techniques are employed to determine the root cause including visual assessment, Scanning Electron Microscopy (SEM), optical microscopy and mechanical testing.

Assessment of the fracture mechanism reveals many factors relating to failure such as the type of load acting upon the shaft, i.e. reversed bending, unidirectional bending, and can indicate the approximate number of cycle to failure.  This can even identify problems with other components in the system such as bearings or couplings.

For further information contact Mr Eirwyn Davies 01925 843 417.

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