Forensic Services’ mechanical engineers and metallurgists are skilled at the investigation of gear failures and determining the cause of failure. This work typically begins at site and progresses through the following stages.
- The interviewing of maintenance and production staff to find out the gearbox history.
- Review of maintenance records.
- Examination of the failed gears at site, with surface crack detection techniques being employed if required.
- Securing samples such as teeth that have broken away, or arranging for larger samples to be brought to our laboratory.
- Laboratory examination at our failure analysis laboratory.
We find the most common causes of gear failures are
- Fatigue, often beginning at fatigue pitting.
- Misalignment, perhaps caused by a bearing failure.
- Wear poor lubrication, which can occur for a variety of reasons. The photographs cycling at the top of this page are examples of ones taken both at site and in our laboratory.