A case study published in « Case Studies in Engineering Failure Analysis » – april 2016.
This paper investigates the failure of a rocker arm shaft of a passenger car. The shaft failed by brittle fracture across one of the four holes supporting the shaft into the cylinder head. The running distance of the engine just before failure was 40,626 km. These cracks may have been induced in the shaft by the non-uniform cooling during quenching in the course of heat treatment, or may be nucleated by repeated loading during service. This premature failure has occurred by the rapid crack propagation because of the lower fracture toughness of the martensite.