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An LNG tanker experienced a fracture of the solid tail shaft, which is a section of the main drive shaft. The tail shaft was made of a forged low-carbon steel. In spite of two ultrasonic inspections, a large defect the size of a football in the center of the shaft was missed. During heat treating following forging, it was surmised that the defect led to the propagation of an internal brittle crack, or clink. A fatigue crack propagated from this origin to the outer surface of the shaft after about a year of service. Finally a last ligament of...

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