2024 ARP Catalog

22 Recognizing Common Failures There are six types of metallurgical failures that affect fasteners. Each type has unique identifying physical characteristics. The following chart is designed to be used like a spark plug reading chart to help analyze fastener failures. While few of us have access to sophisticated analysis equipment, a standard Bausch and Lomb three lens magnifying glass will generally show 98% of what we want to see. Several of the photos below have been taken utilizing a Scanning Electron Microscope (SEM) and are presented to simply illustrate typical grain configurations after failure. 1. Typical Tensile Overload In a tensile overload failure the bolt will stretch and “neck down” prior to rupture. One of the fracture faces will form a cup and the other a cone. This type of failure indicates that either the bolt was inadequate for the installation or it was preloaded beyond the material’s yield point. 2. Torsional Shear (twisting) Fasteners are not normally subjected to torsional stress. This sort of failure is usually seen in drive shafts, input shafts and output shafts. However we have seen torsional shear failure when galling takes place between the male and female threads (always due to using the wrong lubricant or no lubricant) or when the male fastener is misaligned with the female thread. The direction of failure is obvious and, in most cases, failure occurs on disassembly. 3. Impact Shear Fracture from impact shear is similar in appearance to torsional shear failure with flat failure faces and obvious directional traces. Failures due to impact shear occur in bolts loaded in single shear, like flywheel and ring gear bolts. Usually the failed bolts were called upon to locate the device as well as to clamp it and, almost always, the bolts were insufficiently preloaded on installation. Fasteners are designed to clamp parts together, not to locate them. Location is the function of dowels. Another area where impact failures are common is in connecting rod bolts, when a catastrophic failure, elsewhere in the engine (debris from failing camshaft or crankshaft) impacts the connecting rod. 2. 3. 1. FASTENER TECH