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The shafts on two centrifugal pumps failed during use in a petroleum refinery. Light optical microscopy and scanning electron microscopy were used to analyze the damaged materials to determine the cause of failure. The results showed that one shaft, made of duplex stainless steel, failed by fatigue fracture, and the other, made of 316 austenitic stainless steel, experienced a similar fracture, which was promoted by the presence of nonmetallic inclusion particles.

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