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A heat-treated, cadmium-plated AISI 8740 steel bolt broke through the head-to-shank fillet while being handled during assembly. Fractographic and metallographic examination of the bolt traced the cause of failure to quench cracking, which occurred when the part was water cooled following hot heading and prior to the production run. The process chart for hot heading was changed from water quenching to air cooling following the forming operation.

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