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A drawbar connecting two tank-type trailers of a highway gasoline rig broke while the rig was on an exit ramp of an interstate highway. The drawbar was a weldment of steel plates, tubes, and castings. Light fractography showed no discernable causes for the failure, but a TEM fractograph at 20,000x revealed fatigue striations and corrosion products on the fracture surface, indicating that this area was probably the site of fracture origin and that it had cracked before the accident happened. The casting on the right side of the drawbar contained large voids and a significant amount of porosity. Electron...

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