Journal of Failure Analysis and Prevention

, Volume 8, Issue 1, pp 75–80 | Cite as

Failure Analysis of Reverse Shaft in the Transmission System of All-Terrain Vehicles

  • Chun-Yuan Lin
  • Jui-Pin Hung
  • Tze-Chi Hsu
Case History---Peer-Reviewed


This paper presents a failure analysis of a reverse shaft in the transmission system of an all-terrain vehicle (ATV). The reverse shaft with splines fractured into two pieces during operation. Visual examination of the fractured surface clearly showed cracks initiated from the roots of spline teeth. To find out the cause of fracture of the shaft, a finite element analysis was carried out to predict the stress state of the shaft under steady loading and shock loading, respectively. The steady loading was produced under normal operation, while the shock loading could be generated by an abrupt change of operation such as start-up or sudden braking during working. Results of stress analysis reveal that the highest stressed area coincided with the fractured regions of the failed shaft. The maximum stress predicted under shock loading exceeded the yield strength and was believed to be the stimulant for crack initiation and propagation at this weak region. The failure analysis thus showed that the premature fatigue fracture of the shaft was caused by abnormal operation. Finally, some suggestions to enhance service durability of the transmission system of ATV are discussed.


Fatigue failure Spline shaft All-terrain vehicles 


  1. 1.
    Wulpi, D.: Failures of shafts. In: Failure Analysis and Prevention, vol. 11, 9th edn., Metals Handbook, pp. 459–482. American Society for Metals, Metals Park, OH (1986).Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    Rice, R.C. (ed.): Fatigue Design Handbook-AE-10, Society of Automotive Engineers, Warrendale, PA (1988).Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    Xu, I.L., Yu, Z.W., Ding, H.X.: Failure analysis of a diesel engine gear-shaft. Eng. Fail. Anal. 13, 1351–1357 (2006).CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. 4.
    Bhaumik, S.K., Rangaraju, R., Parameswara, M.A., Venkataswamy, M.A., Bhaskaran, T.A., Krishnan, R.V.: Fatigue failure of a hollow power transmission shaft. Eng. Fail. Anal. 9, 457–467 (2002).CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. 5.
    Li, Y.J., Zhang, W.F., Tao, C.H.: Fracture analysis of a castellated shaft. Eng. Fail. Anal. 14, 573–578 (2007).CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. 6.
    Nanawarea, G.K., Pableb, M.J.: Failures of rear axle shafts of 575 DI tractors. Eng. Fail. Anal. 10, 719–724 (2003).CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. 7.
    Cleland, J.H.: Shear failure of a road-vehicle steering shaft. Eng. Fail. Anal. 4(1), 81–88 (1997).CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. 8.
    Bonnett, A.H.: Root cause ac motor failure analysis with a focus on shaft failures. IEEE Trans Industry Application. 36(5), 1197–1209 (2000).Google Scholar
  9. 9.
    Shigley, J.E.: Mechanical Engineering Design. Matrix edn. McGraw-Hill Book Co., New York (1986).Google Scholar
  10. 10.
    Dimarogonas, D.: Machine Design—A CAD Approach. John Wiley & Sons (2001).Google Scholar
  11. 11.
  12. 12.
    Basquin, O.H.: The exponential law of endurance tests. Am. Soc. Test Mater. Proc. 625–630 (1910).Google Scholar
  13. 13.
    Hertzberg, R.W.: Deformation and fracture mechanics of engineering materials. John Wiley & Sons, New York, 530–532 (1996).Google Scholar
  14. 14.
    Matlock, D.K., Alogab, K.A., Richards, M.D., Speer, J.G.: Surface processing to improve the fatigue resistance of advanced bar steels for automotive applications. Mater. Res. 8(4), 453–459 (2005).Google Scholar
  15. 15.
    Dieter, G.E.: Mechanical Metallurgy. SI Matrix edn. McGraw Hill Book Co., New York (1988).Google Scholar

Copyright information

© ASM International 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Mechanical EngineeringNanya Institute of TechnologyChungliTaiwan, P.R. China
  2. 2.Department of Automation EngineeringNational Chin-Yi University of TechnologyTaipingTaiwan, P.R. China
  3. 3.Department of Mechanical EngineeringYuan-Ze UniversityChungliTaiwan, P.R. China

Personalised recommendations