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A 13/16-in. hex socket failed while in use. Analysis (hardness testing, optical and scanning electron microscopy, and EDS) revealed that the socket was made of low carbon steel formed in a powder metallurgy process. A number of flaws were found including nonuniform wall thickness, poor geometric design with sharp corners as stress raisers, and incomplete sintering evidenced by unsintered particles. These were determined to be the primary cause of failure, although inclusions on the fracture surface containing S and Al may have played a role as well.

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