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Plunger shafts machined from 4150 steel bar stock were involved in a series of fatigue failures. The fractures consistently occurred at two locations on the shafts: the shaft fillet and either side of a machined notch. The material specification for the shafts required 41xx series steel with a carbon content of 0.38 to 0.53%, a hardness of 35 to 40 HRC for the shaft, and a hardness of 50 to 55 HRC for the notch (which was case hardened). Analysis (visual inspection, chemical analysis, hardness testing, and magnetic particle inspection) supported the conclusions that all the fractures were fatigue-induced...

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