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The impeller of a 4 ft. diam extraction fan driven by a 120 hp motor at 1,480 rpm. disrupted suddenly. The majority of the vanes had become detached where they were welded to the plates. At other locations, separation of the vanes was accompanied by tearing of the adjacent plate, failure being initiated at the weld fillets of the inner end of the vanes. An unusual feature was that the blades disclosed regions having a pronounced striated and stepped appearance. The etched microstructure was typical of a low carbon rolled plate having the usual banded appearance. A cross section through the fillet welds and zone showed lamellar tearing, which confirmed that failure had occurred in weld metal adjacent to the fusion face of the fillet to the vane. Results of the investigation indicated that the primary cause of failure of the impeller was the development of fatigue cracks from the unwelded roots of the fillet welds, by which the vanes were attached to the supporting plates. The impeller would have shown increased resistance to fatigue crack initiation if the T joint between the vanes and plates had been of the full penetration type.

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