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A bearing cup in a drive shaft assembly on an automobile was found to have failed. A detailed analysis was conducted using the QC story approach, which begins by proposing several possible failure scenarios then following them to determine the main root cause. A number of alternative solutions were identified and then validated based on chemical analysis, endurance and hardness tests, and microstructural examination. The investigation revealed that carbonitriding can effectively eliminate the type of failure encountered because it prevents through hardening of the bearing cup assembly.

This article presents a failure analysis of an aluminum cylinder head...

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