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Field failures, traced to internal cracks that were initiated from gross nonmetallics, were encountered in the upset portion of forged 4118 steel shafts. Ultrasonic inspection was thought to be the best method for detection from the location of these cracks, their orientation, and the size of the shaft. A longitudinal beam was sent in from the end of the shaft. The shaft was observed to have a radially drilled oil hole 9 mm in diam. Since there was a variation in flaw orientation, testing of the shaft was desired from both the long and short end. The rejection level was set at 20% of full screen and was based on the size of flaws observed when the shafts were cut up. The inclusions were considered to be rejectable if the size was larger than 20 mm diam. Similar flaws were observed in larger shafts, but no flaws were observed once the shafts were sectioned. It was interpreted that the flaw signals were false and had happened when a portion of the beam struck the oily surface of the longitudinal oil hole. The problem was solved by removing the oil film from the longitudinal oil hole.

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Ultrasonic Inspection of an Upset-Forged 4118 Steel Shaft, ASM Failure Analysis Case Histories: Improper Maintenance, Repair, and Operating Conditions, ASM International, 2019,

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