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A shaft, which carried both a worm wheel and hoist barrel, fractured at a reduction in diameter adjacent to a mating gearbox. The appearance of the fracture was characteristic of a fatigue failure of a rotating shaft resulting from excessive bending stresses. Cracks of the fatigue type broke out all around the circumference at the change of section and progressed inwards. Microscopic examination of the material showed it to be an alloy steel in the hardened and tempered condition, with no abnormal features. It was considered that the bending stresses due to the deflection of the shaft arising from misalignment were responsible for the fatigue failure, which occurred in a region of stress concentration where insignificant fillet radius had been provided.

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