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This article presents a failure analysis of an aluminum cylinder head on an automotive engine. During an endurance test, a crack initiated from the interior wall of a hole in the center of the cylinder head, then propagated through the entire thickness of the component. Metallurgical examination of the crack origin revealed that casting pores played a role in initiating the crack. Stress components, identified by finite element analysis, also played a role, particularly the stresses imposed by the bolt assembly leading to plastic strain. It was concluded that the failure can be prevented by eliminating the bolt hole, using a different type of bolt, or adjusting the fastening torque.

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M. Azadi, A. Mafi, M. Roozban, F. Moghaddam, Failure Analysis of a Cracked Gasoline Engine Cylinder Head, Handbook of Case Histories in Failure Analysis, Vol 3, Edited By Larry Berardinis, ASM International, 2019, p 57–65,

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