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This chapter describes an investigation that was conducted to determine why quill shafts were failing prematurely in gear boxes on aircraft engines. The investigation focused on the splines in a splined bore. Visual examination showed that the splines were heavily worn and covered with red powder on one end. Investigators also observed blueing, an effect of overheating. Based on these observations and the results of SEM imaging, it was concluded that the splines in the spline bore were wearing out for lack of lubrication.

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Failure of Quill Shafts in the Accessory Gear Box in an Aircraft Engine, Failure Analysis of Engineering Structures: Methodology and Case Histories, By V. Ramachandran, A.C. Raghuram, R.V. Krishnan, S.K. Bhaumik, ASM International, 2005, p 148–149,

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