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A bolt breaks along a change in cross section well below its rated capacity. An anchoring screw spins freely in place, having snapped at its first supporting thread. A motor unexpectedly disengages its load, its driveshaft having fractured near a keyway. Such failures – involving axles, leaf springs, engine rods, wing struts, bearings, gears, and more – can occur, seemingly without cause, due to vibrational fracture. Vibrational fractures begin as cracks that form under cyclic loading at nominal stresses which may be considerably lower than the yield point of the material. The fracture is proceeded by local gliding and...

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