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  • 1.
    Lundgren, Daniel
    et al.
    University of Skövde, School of Technology and Society.
    Persson, Michael
    University of Skövde, School of Technology and Society.
    Kvalitetsprovning av låskulor till hydrauliska snabbkopplingar2012Independent thesis Basic level (university diploma), 15 credits / 22,5 HE creditsStudent thesis
    Abstract [en]

    A company that manufactures hydraulic quick-couplings has discovered through regular quality checks that the quality of some of the locking balls for the locking mechanism in the quick couplings suddenly has become insufficient and the locking balls rupture under load. The locking balls are made of stainless steel and if they rupture during usage the consequences can be material damage or even personal injury. The company wants to prevent any quality problems and must therefore ensure that the strength of the locking balls is sufficient. The locking balls are purchased from a subcontractor and the company would therefore like to develop a method for strength testing locking balls delivered to the factory. This thesis aims to help the company in developing such a method. 

    A first step is to investigate the cause of the locking balls rupture. Material analyses are executed by a material laboratory in order to determine what features in the material that causes the ruptures. The analyses shows that rupture is probably caused by an increased brittleness in the material and the brittleness is a consequence of less tempered martensite and a high amount of carbides.

    With the cause of rupture determined, existing methods for testing material properties is studied. It is important that strength testing is carried out with test specimens prepared from the actual locking balls. Otherwise the influence of the locking balls manufacturing process on the material properties is not taking into account. Many of the standardized methods for testing material properties, however, are hard to apply to the locking balls due to the geometry and small dimensions of the locking balls.

    A kind of impact test and compression test is performed. One of the purposes with the tests is to investigate if they are adequate for strength testing the locking balls. The results of the tests, however, are not suitable for comparison. Also, a fatigue test of the locking balls is performed by a repetitive loading of a quick coupling. The fatigue test is, however, time consuming and there are uncertainties in the test results. None of these tests is considered suitable as a strength testing method.

    In this thesis, two recently developed methods for strength testing ceramic balls and the possibility to apply these methods on the locking balls is studied. The study includes an analysis of the stress distribution in a locking ball under load to determine in which region the highest stresses occur. The study provides that only one of the methods is suitable for the locking balls due to differences in preparing the test specimen and which region of the locking ball that is tested in each method.

    The strength testing method that is proposed in this thesis is called the notched ball test (NBT). In NBT a long and narrow notch is cut in a locking ball which is then loaded in compression perpendicular to the notch until rupture occurs. The maximum stress acting at the rupture is calculated and used to determine the strength of the locking ball. NBT is suitable because it can be performed with existing equipment at the company, the test specimen is prepared from actual locking balls and the test uses tensile stresses which is an advantage when brittleness is to be detected in a material.

    An analysis of NBT is performed to determine how material properties and different notch geometries is affecting the test results. The analysis also gives some recommendations for notch geometries that should be used when performing NBT as well as a constant that is used when calculating the maximum stress. Practical experiments of NBT are not carried out in this thesis. Instead, conclusions regarding NBT and recommendations for the company on how they should proceed with NBT are given.

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