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Machine Elements & Mechanisms

Round-up 2003

One of the most important decisions, which must be taken by the designer, is the selection of
appropriate design criteria, which is influenced especially by the mode of failure of the part.
The common modes of failure are:

Fracture when the maximum stress is greater than the limit stress known as ultimate stress:

max R m ( r )


Fracture can be produced by

i) static loads
ii) variable loads
iii) impact/shock loads

Excessive plastic deformation produced in two cases:

i) Yielding when the maximum stress is greater than the limit stress known as yield stress:

max R p ( c )


ii) Creep deformation - whereby the component deforms plastically under a constant load which
produces a constant stress less than the yield stress, but acting for a long period of time. It appears
usually at an elevated temperature.
Excessive elastic deformation evaluated usually by
means of:
i) a maximum deformation


f max f allowable


ii) a maximum angle of inclination of the elastica

(neutral axis)

max allowable

Fig. 1. Evaluation of elastic deformation

The allowable values are imposed by various

working conditions; there is no general rule.


l= 2L

l = 2L

l = L/2

pinned at
both ends

free end +
pinned end

free end +
fixed end at

fixed at
both ends

Buckling (instability) which appears only
for compressed components.

The evaluation is made either in terms of a

safety factor: c > ca or in terms of a critical
load: P < Pcr
There are two cases of instabilities:
i) elastic (Euler)
ii) plastic
Common load cases for buckling
calculation are presented in Fig. 2.

Fig. 2. Common load cases for buckling calculation

(l - effective length)

Wear is defined as a loss of material from

the operating surfaces, due to a relative motion at the surface. It is very difficult to evaluate
analytically, without experimental data. Two criteria of calculation are generally used:
i) durability : calculated durability > minimum/desired durability: L > Lmin




Machine Elements & Mechanisms

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The durability, L, may be expressed in terms of time (hours), cycles, number of rotations.
ii) quantity of the worn material expressed in terms of volume, height or weight.
NOTE. Sometimes wear calculation is included in strength calculation by using diminished allowable
compressible stresses (e.g. - the contact between the bolt and the nut for thread calculation)

Heating. In some applications, high loads and speeds can lead to local overheating. In these cases the
calculated temperature (based on an adequate heat transfer model) must be less then a maximum
permissible temperature: T < Tmax.

There is a great variety of models for heat transfer calculation, most of them requiring numerical approaches.
Allowable stresses. Safety factors
Either for rupture calculation or for yield calculation one must agree that there are a lot of uncertainty
elements that impose the usage of safety factors so that, in design practice, the maximum stresses are
compared with allowable (permissible) stresses:

max a


where the allowable stress, a is based on the limit stress (rupture or yield) but includes also a safety
factor, c. By definition, the allowable (permissible) stress is a conventional value considered a limit for the
calculated effective stress; It is a function of mechanical properties of the materials and includes safety
factors. Consequently, for the allowable values, one can use the following equations:

a =

u (Rm )


a =

Y (R p )



Obviously, safety coefficients, (either cu or cY ) must be greater than unit c > 1 but usually c = 2 5.
In special cases c = 10 20 as in nuclear power plants, aeronautics, transportation.
Safety factors are dependent on a lot of factors like:

type of material and its homogeneity;

type of heat treatment;
desired durability; the higher is the requested durability the greater is the safety factor
type of the stresses;
operating temperature; usually high operating temperatures needs higher safety factors
designer experience;
the experience and reliability of the manufacturer;
accuracy in estimating the loads; the better we know the loads the smaller is the safety factor
accuracy of the modeling; if is the calculated stress is close to the real (measured) stress the safety
factor is diminished. All the assumptions included in the model must be evaluated at least in the
sense of the approximation (the calculus overestimate or underestimate the stresses)
importance of that component (consequences of the failure). For a similar component we may
have different safety factors function of its usage. For example, if the failure of the component
can induce an accident, the safety factors are considerably increased.
Tensile properties are those mechanical properties obtained from the tension tests and frequently used as a
basis of mechanical design of structural components. Tensile properties can be put in evidence on typical
stress-strain curve as shown in Fig. 3




Machine Elements & Mechanisms


Round-up 2003

Onset of necking
Ultimate strength

u (r, Rm)
Y (c, Rp0.2)

True ultimate
Final fracture


Proof stress
Yield strength
Proportional limit

Elastic zone

Plastic zone

Elastic limit
Offset line

Strain [%]

(Plastic) strain after fracture

Remnant deformation

Fig. 3. Typical stress-strain curve for brittle materials

p - proportional limit = the limit of availability for the Hooke law/

where E is the modulus of elasticity (Youngs modulus) and is represented by the slope of the stress-strain

e - elastic limit the greatest stress accepted by the material without any subsequent practical remnant
deformation after removing of the load.
R p 0.2 / c / Y - yield strength = the nominal stress at which a material undergoes a specified remnant
deformation (normally r 0.2% = deformation). For greater stresses, Y plastic deformation appears.

Rm / R / u - ultimate (tensile) strength

represents the maximum load supported by the specimen,

divided by the its area.

NOTE Sometimes it is used the fracture/breaking strength which is the nominal stress calculated with the
nominal area of the specimen. It isnt used as a material property in mechanical design.

In the design process of a machine element, the selection of material and the manufacturing
process by which the part is to be made, should be considered together. Hence, the designer should be
familiar with:
(i) adaptability of the material to various processes; e.g.:
it is not recommended to weld a component made by cast iron
the blank for a component made by mild steel can not be obtained by casting;
(ii) the effect of the processes on the final properties of the material; e.g.
the correlation between the type of the manufacturing process and the hardness and roughness
of the surfaces;
(iii) design details involved in the manufacturing processes (see Principles for Designing the Shape
of Machine Components);



Machine Elements & Mechanisms

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(iv) cost of the material and the process.

The problem is so complex as comprehensive rules can not be stated. In the following, only general
considerations and practical examples will be presented.


Nonmetallic materials

Cast iron (gray iron, white iron)

Malleable iron
Wrought iron

Cast steel
Wrought steel: low-carbon steel (mild steel),
high-carbon steel, alloy steel, tool steel

Brass (Copper alloys) and Bronze (Sn alloys)

Aluminum and Aluminum alloys
Magnesium alloys
Titanium alloys
Polymers (thermoplastics or thermosets) & Polymer
Elastomers (Rubber like materials)
Glass, Mineral, or Carbon Fibers


Availability and cost

Mechanical properties

Strength is necessary to prevent failure of the component by rupture.

For static conditions ultimate strength (or tensile strength) and yield strength are defined:
For cyclic (dynamic) conditions the endurance limit is defined and it is used as a measure for
resistance to fatigue.
Damping capacity of the material should also be considered for dynamic loaded components.
Rigidity (stiffness) or elasticity is important for components whose deflections are limited by service
requirements or whose deflections must be strictly controlled (such in some command
mechanisms). The mechanical property is E - modulus of elasticity (Youngs modulus)
Resilience is the ability of a material to absorb energy when deformed elastically and to return it when
unloaded. This is usually measured by the modulus of resilience, which is the strain energy per
unit volume required to stress the material from zero stress to the yield stress. Resilience should
be considered when the component is subjected to shock loading.
Hardness and ductility have a reciprocal relationship in ferrous materials; ductility is desirable in order
to relieve concentration of stresses.
Toughness is similar to resilience but refers to shock loading in plastic region. Toughness is a
commonly used concept, which is difficult to pin down and define. It is the exact opposite of
"brittleness" which carries the implication of sudden failure. A brittle material has little resistance
to failure once the elastic limit has been reached.


Thermal properties As surfaces in contact and relative motion rub each other, the local
temperature can considerably increase; in such cases the thermal properties are of major



Machine Elements & Mechanisms

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- thermal conductivity necessary to define heat transfer

- expansion coefficient -necessary to evaluate modifications of the main dimensions of components
In applications involving high temperatures it is also of great importance the variation of
mechanical properties with temperature.
Electrical properties

Resistance to wear defined by a large variety of complex parameters, which take into account the
pair of materials; sometimes it is expressed as friction characteristic. Hardness is also a key
factor for the resistance to wear for unlubricated or poor lubricated friction surfaces.

Resistance in harsh/aggressive environment - particularly resistance to corrosion.

Weight may be often important for different components such aircraft parts, where light materials
(such as aluminum, magnesium alloys, titanium alloys) must be used. It is defined by density.
Adaptability to different manufacturing processes (machinability, hardenability, weldability,
casting and forging characteristics).


Many machine parts like gears, rolling element bearings, guidings require high hardness, usually above
about 55 Rockwell C (HRC), to perform successfully. However, the materials is supplied to manufacturer in
the annealed condition, around 200/250 Brinell (about 20 Rockwell C), to facilitate machining. They must be
heat treated to develop their characteristic.
The heat treat process results in an unavoidable size increase in components due to the changes in
microstructure. Most steels will grow between about 0.5m and 2m per mm of original length during heat
treatment. Consequently, finishing processes like grinding are required.
A typical manufacturing process for parts made by ferrous materials is schetched in Fig. 4.

low hardness high machinability

HB100-150 normal hardness of steel

primary chip-removal process

(machining to dimensions)


hardening (to HB270-300)

secondary chip-removal process

(volume/surface hardening)



Fig. 4. Typical manufacturing process

Typical BLANKS used in mechanical production are:

primary siderurgical products (ingot, rolling billet);



Machine Elements & Mechanisms

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primary siderurgical products + pressworking (plastically deformed) -free-forged, die-forged,

secondary siderurgical products (rolling products) obtained from primary siderurgical products
rolled (laminated) or drawn;
casting blank;
rolled stock welded.

Currently used ROLLED PRODUCTS are:

standard profiles (structural shapes or structural mill products) (angle/L, Tee/T, wide flange/I,
channel/U, Zee/Z or other special profiles) usually made of low-carbon (mild) steel or aluminum;
pipe products: tubes (pipes), rolled (seamless tubes) or welded,;
rolled sheets and plates;
coils (wires) made of steel or nonferrous alloys;
classical rolled shapes -bars and rods with standard cross-section shape:





NOTE Special attention must be given to the tolerances of these blanks.
Most used HEAT TREATMENT processes can be divided into two categories:


volume hardening



shell hardening (induction or flame hardening)

followed usually by quenching & tempering

surface hardening

(gas) carburising (carbon enhancement)

(case hardening) =thermo-chemical

nitriding (nitrogen enhancement) & cyaniding


shot peening
mechanical surface hardening

cold rolling
Heat Treating Definitions
Annealing Heating and slow cooling to remove stresses, make steel softer, refine the structure, or
change its ductility. after this thermal treatment process a previously cold-rolled steel coil becomes more
suitable for forming and bending (the bonds between the grains of the metal are stretched when a coil is
cold rolled, leaving the steel brittle and breakable; annealing "recrystallizes" the grain structure of steel
by allowing for new bonds to be formed at the high temperature).
Carburizing Adding carbon to the surface of iron-based alloys by heating the metal below its melting
point in contact with carbon-rich solids, liquids or gases.
Case Hardening Carburizing a metal surface followed by quenching to fix a hard outer case in carbon
combined with a relatively soft middle or core.
Cyanide Hardening (Cyaniding) A method of case hardening which brings the metal surface in contact
with the molten cyanide salt followed by a quenching.
Decarburization. Removal of carbon from the surface of steel. This can occur through normal oxidizing
action or as the result of heat treatment.



Machine Elements & Mechanisms

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Drawing (Tempering) Reheating after hardening , held at a specific temperature and then quenched.
This reduces hardening and increases toughness. Usually, tempering is performed to stress relieve the
brittle martensite formed during the quench.
Nitriding A hardening process which adds nitrogen to a metal surface through contact with ammonia
gas. Produces surface hardness (case) without quenching.
Precipitation Hardening A hardening process where certain metals are held at elevated temperature
without quenching (age hardening).
Quenching Rapid cooling of steel by immersion in oil or water to fix its structure in a hardened state.
Stress Relieve A low temperature heat treatment which removes stresses caused by cold working
Shot peening is a cold working process in which the surface of a part is bombarded with small spherical
media called shot. Each piece of shot striking the material acts as a tiny peening hammer, imparting to the
surface a small indentation or dimple. In order for the dimple to be created, the surface fibres of the material
must be yielded in tension. Below the surface, the fibres try to restore the surface to its original shape,
thereby producing below the dimple, a hemisphere of cold-worked material highly stressed in compression.
Overlapping dimples develop an even layer of metal in residual compressive stress. It is well known that
cracks will not initiate or propagate in a compressively stressed zone. Since nearly all fatigue and stress
corrosion failures originate at the surface of a part, compressive stresses induced by shot peening provide
considerable increases in part life. The maximum compressive residual stress produced at or under the
surface of a part by shot peening is at least as great as half the yield strength of the material being peened.
Many materials will also increase in surface hardness due to the cold working effect of shot peening.
Benefits obtained by shot peening are the result of the effect of the compressive stress and the cold working
induced. Compressive stresses are beneficial in increasing resistance to fatigue failures, corrosion fatigue,
stress corrosion cracking, hydrogen assisted cracking, fretting, galling and erosion caused by cavitation.
Benefits obtained due to cold working include work hardening, intergranular corrosion resistance, surface
texturing, closing of porosity and testing the bond of coatings. Both compressive stresses and cold working
effects are used in the application of shot peening in forming metal parts.
A typical example of shot peening treatment is the fillets at the root of the gear which are usually the areas
of high stress. Gears are frequently shot peened after carburising using special hardness shot. Tests have
found that the life of a case hardened gear, stressed to 560 MPa, increased 150 times (from 200,000 cycles
before shot peening to 30,000,000 cycles after shot peening).




Machine Elements & Mechanisms

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Hardening includes case hardening, direct hardening (that is quenching followed by slow tempering) or
shell hardening (which includes induction and flame hardening).
Thermo-chemical hardening includes carburising (Carbon enhancement, possible for low carbon steels0.10.25 C content) nitriding (Nitrogen enhancement) and nitro-carburising (Carbon and Nitrogen

Types of steel

case hardening steel with C=0.10.25%

direct hardening steel for quenching and tempering C=0.250.5%

tool steel C>0.5%

alloy steel

stainless steel
Cast steel is similar to wrought steel in terms of its chemical content (less carbon than cast iron) but its
mechanical properties are somewhat inferior to wrought steel (but still superior to that of cast iron). Its main
advantage is ease of fabrication by sand or investment casting. Alloy cast steel are also used for high strength
and heat resistance.

From the furnace we obtain pig iron (fonta primara) with high Carbon content (>1.5%C). After further
processing and casting we obtain steel primary products in the form of blooms, slabs, thin slabs and billets.
Further metallurgical processing will get steel secondary products as follows. From slabs and thin slabs we
obtain plates, pipe products, hot rolled sheets and coils (obtained on hot-strip mill), picked and oiled coils,
cold rolled sheets and coils. From blooms and billets three typical groups of metallurgical raw materials are
obtained: seamless tubes, structural mill products and bars and rods.