International Journal of Refrigeration, Vol. 32, No. 3, pp. 478–486, 2009

Reliability Design and Case Study of a Refrigerator Compressor Subjected to Repetitive Loads

Seong-woo Woo
SAMSUNG Electronics Co., Ltd.,
272, Refrigeration Division
Oseon-Dong, Gwangsan-Gu, Gwangju-City
Korea 506-723

Michael Pecht
Center for Advanced Life Cycle Engineering (CALCE)
University of Maryland
College Park, Maryland, USA

Dennis L. O’Neal
Department of Mechanical Engineering
Texas A&M University
College Station, TX, USA


A newly designed crankshaft of a compressor for a side-by-side (SBS) refrigerator was studied. Using mass and energy conservation balances, a variety of compressor loads typically found in a refrigeration cycle were analyzed. The laboratory failure modes and mechanisms were compressor locking and crankshaft wear. These were similar to those of the failed samples in the field. Failure analysis, accelerated life testing (ALT), and corrective actions were used to identify the key reliability parameters. The design parameters of the crankshaft included the hole locations and the groove of the crankshaft used for oil lubrication, crankshaft hardness, and thrust washer interference. Based on the analysis and design changes, the B1 life of the new design is now over ten years with a yearly failure rate of 0.01 percent. A five step procedure is recommended for parts design.

Keywords: Refrigeration system, Compression system, Reciprocating compressor, Design, Component, Parameter, Capacity reduction

Complete article is available to CALCE Consortium Members.

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