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A combination of adverse factors was present in the disruption of a turbo-alternator gearbox. The major cause was the imposition of a gross overload far in excess of that for which the gearbox was designed. The contributory factors were a rim material (EN9 steel) that was inherently notch-sensitive and liable to rupture in a brittle manner. Discontinuities were present in the rims formed by the drain holes drilled in their abutting faces, and possibly enhanced by the stress-raising effect of microcracks in the smeared metal at their surfaces It is probable that the load reached a value in excess...

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