Using stress relief grooves to reduce stress concentration on axle drive shaft

Jae Myung Shin, Dong Sub Han, Kwon Hee Lee, Seung Ho Han

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

7 Citations (Scopus)


The axle drive shaft has important roles such as transferring power and changing the steering angle between the axle and the wheel in a power train system. It is used in most heavy construction machinery, where a high degree of reliability is required in the power train system. However, for axle drive shafts with a long span axle, failures are common at the snap ring cut that is machined on the drive shaft when there is significant fatigue damage under repeated loading conditions. Stress relief grooves have been applied at the snap ring cut to reduce the stress concentration and improve the fatigue life of an axle drive shaft. Although several studies have described how the stress concentration can be reduced by the stress relief grooves, details of the geometries of the stress relief grooves have been subject to debate and even controversy. We investigated the effects of the stress relief grooves on the stress concentration, and estimated the fatigue life of the drive shaft by using finite element analysis, taking into account the geometric parameters such as size and location of the stress relief grooves. As a result, the stress relief grooves presented by non-dimensional geometric parameters for an r/h = 1.2 and a d/b = 2.0 enabled a 22.3% reduction of the stress concentration, and a maximum improvement in the fatigue life that was approximately 3.3 times that of drive shaft with no stress relief grooves applied. These can be an index for selecting optimal geometric shapes of the stress relief grooves.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2121-2127
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Mechanical Science and Technology
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2014



  • Axle drive shaft
  • Finite element analysis
  • Strain-life
  • Stress concentration
  • Stress relief groove

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Mechanical Engineering

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