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A rocket-motor case made of consumable-electrode vacuum arc remelted D-6ac alloy steel failed during hydrostatic proof-pressure testing. Close visual examination, magnetic-particle inspection, and hardness tests showed cracks that appeared to have occurred after austenitizing but before tempering. Microscopic examinations of ethereal picral etched sections indicated that the cracks appeared before or during the final tempering phase of the heat treatment and that cracking had occurred while the steel was in the as-quenched condition, before its 315 deg C (600 deg F) snap temper. Chemical analysis of the cracked metal showed a slightly higher level of carbon than in the...

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