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Macrofractographs of the fracture surface from a multibladed fan showed that cracks started at the corner where bending stress was concentrated and propagated through the blade by fatigue. Peak stress at the monitoring position was less than 10 MPa. To simulate crack growth, the rotor was repeatedly deformed by a hydraulic fatigue tester. Comparison of striations of the failed blade with that of the tested one revealed the failed blade was loaded with more than 30 MPa of stress. These tests confirmed that the rotor and blades had sufficient strength to withstand up to 3x the stress of normal operation. The casing of the fan was vibrated at 10 to 60 Hz. Peak stress easily overcame 30 MPa, which was enough to initiate cracking. The fracture surfaces and starting position were the same as those on the failed fan. It was concluded that the exciting force from an air compressor caused blade failure.

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Katsumi Sakaguchi, Masakatsu Kubo, Crack Propagation of Sirocco Fan, ASM Failure Analysis Case Histories: Buildings, Bridges, and Infrastructure, ASM International, 2019,

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