The transverse crack in a non-uniform shaft possesses different crack modes, and it can affect the propagation characteristics of the elastic waves in the shaft. The influence of the crack mode as well as the location and the depth of the crack and the rotating speed to the propagation characteristics is investigated in this paper. Firstly, the transfer matrix for the elastic wave in a non-uniform shaft is obtained by deducing the local flexibility coefficients of the three typical crack modes, in which the transverse crack is modeled as a local spring. After that, the influence of the crack mode to the propagation characteristics is studied both in a numerical and an experimental way. Finally, the influence of the location and the depth of the transverse crack as well as the rotating speed of the shaft is studied too. It is found that Mode III is the most suitable mode in this paper, the location of the crack will make the stopbands fluctuating, the depth mainly affects the bandwidth of the stopbands, and the increase of the rotating speed will shift up the stopbands without changing the bandwidths. The results can help to detect and locate a transverse crack.
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