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Problem Statement: Poor life & frequent failure of Sag Mill drive gearbox input pinion shaft at Mines.

Observations: The above problem was studied in detail and following observations were made: • It was reported that in last three years, total 3 input pinion shafts of the main mill drive gearbox have failed and the failed pinion shafts gave ~12 months life (refer plate -1 & 2). The speed rating of the gearbox is 1470/232.59 and it was designed for a service life factor of 1.92. Department confirmed that each failure was reported to OEM via emails but from OEM no satisfactory answer for the failures of input pinion shaft was given as a result every time the failed shaft was replaced with available spare shaft and the problem reappeared after sometime. It was observed that all three failures of input pinion shaft took place from the same location i.e. the position where pinion is mounted on the pinion shaft (refer plate -2, rough sketch). Clear beach marks (progressive lines) were observed on the fractured surface of both failed shafts. The beach marks covers around 90% of the fractured surface area and is an indication of unidirectional fatigue mode failure (refer plate 3 & 4). The instantaneous zone area (final fracture area) was found very small ~10% of the fractured surface area indicates that the designer has taken sufficient service factor during designing. It also indicates that the failure slowly propagated across the fatigue zone, and then very rapidly crossed the instantaneous zone (refer plate-3&4). It was observed that in all the failed pinion shafts, the surface of the pinion shaft had peeled off along its circumference i.e. spalling, which is an indication of failure due to high surface hardness. Moreover, presence of beach marks in the failed surface (in spalling area) indicate that the failure took place in fatigue mode and originates from the keyway fillet radius due to severe stress concentration (refer plate - 3 & 4)

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Recommendations: • Above observations suggest that the component failed due to rotating bending fatigue under low nominal load and severe stress concentration created due to high surface hardness (improper heat treatment) and sharp fillet radius in the keyway at the location of failure. This aspect may be checked at OEM end.

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Include suitable fillet radius (R1 to R1. which will definitely give better fatigue life under present operating conditions. En19 could be explored.6) to avoid stress raiser and better fatigue life in the drawing.• Use of 42CrMo4V IS:5517. • Page 2 of 6 . Class 4 forging material (volume hardened & tempered) i.e.

’ 2007) Page 3 of 6 . drawing of the Mill drive gearbox Photographs of the failed input pinion shaft (Feb. A.SAG Mill Drive Gearbox – Input Pinion Shaft Failure (Plate-1) INPUT PINION SHAFT FAILURE LOCATION G.

SAG Mill Drive Gearbox – Input Pinion Shaft Failure (Plate-2) The broken input pinion shaft (May’ 2008) FAILURE LOCATION Rough sketch of the failed input pinion shaft Page 4 of 6 .

SAG Mill Drive Gearbox – Input Pinion Shaft Failure (Plate-3) SPALLING OF THE SURFACE IS AN INDICATION OF HIGH SURFACE HARDNESS Side view of one of the failed input pinion shaft SMALL INSTANTANEOUS ZONE AREA IS AN IDICATION THAT THE SHAFT FAILED UNDER NOMINAL LOAD ORIGIN Beach marks is a clear indication of fatigue failure Book photograph of a fatigue failure Page 5 of 6 .

Side view of second failed input pinion shaft INSTANTANEOUS ZONE Beach marks & small instantaneous area is a clear indication of shaft failure under nominal bending fatigue mode Page 6 of 6 .SAG Mill Drive Gearbox – Input Pinion Shaft Failure (Plate-4) ORIGIN BEACH MARKS ONCE AGAIN SPALLING OF THE SURFACE (MATEL CHIPS CAME OUT) IS AN INDICATION OF HIGH SURFACE HARDNESS OR IMPROPER HEAT TREATMET DURING MANUFACTURING.