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One main undercarriage axle made of high strength alloy steel was subjected to simulated fatigue test for 6000 h of service. After only 300 h it broke in two along the sharp radius. The fracture revealed a coarse, irregular, and brittle surface before final fracture by thick angular shear lip zone. The presence of micropores in the cleavage facets as well as at the grain boundaries and hairline type crack indications under SEM examination were all suggestive of hydrogen embrittlement. On the basis of investigation results and observations, it was concluded that the transverse breakage of the axle had occurred intergranularly in a brittle manner, possibly, initiated by a shallow zone of fatigue along the sharp radius acting as stress riser.

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