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Cartridge-pneumatic starter systems are used on military aircraft. In the cartridge mode used for alert starts, the starter turbine is driven by hot gases produced through the controlled burning of a solid propellant cartridge within a closed chamber (the breech chamber/cartridge chamber assembly). Premature failures of steel breech chambers have been prevalent enough to cause serious concern. The breech chamber is fabricated from a 4340 Ni-Cr-Mo steel forging heat treated to a hardness in the range HRC 40 to 45. The failures have taken several forms, including fracture and unzipping of the chamber dome, burn-through of the dome, and...

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