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After the mixing machines were introduced into service, excessive assembly stresses and inappropriate detail design caused the premature failures of ice cream drink mixer blades shortly. The mixer blade is slightly deformed by the contact between the wavy washer at the bottom of the assembly and the bends at the bottom shoulders of the two mixer arms. Multiple fatigue crack origins on the inside radii of the bends at the bottom shoulders was revealed by analysis of the failed mixer blades. It was revealed by metallographic examination that the shoulders on the arms were cold bent, introducing tensile residual stresses on the inside radii of the shoulders and creating a localized area of fatigue susceptibility due to the inherent notch sensitivity of cold-formed 300 series stainless steel. It was established that the physical root cause was the design of the mixer blade. The addition of a stand-off washer between the wavy washer and the bottom shoulders of the blade or modification of the shape of the wavy washer to prevent contact with the blade shoulders was recommended.

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Ice Cream Drink Mixer Blade Failures, ASM Failure Analysis Case Histories: Household Products and Consumer Goods, ASM International, 2019,

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