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A hollow, splined alloy steel aircraft shaft (machined from an AMS 6415 steel forging – approximately the same composition as 4340 steel – then quenched and tempered to a hardness of 44.5 to 49 HRC) cracked in service after more than 10,000 h of flight time. The inner surface of the hollow shaft was exposed to hydraulic oil at temperatures of 0 to 80 deg C (30 to 180 deg F). Analysis (visual inspection, 15-30x low magnification examination, 4x light fractograph, chemical analysis, hardness testing) supported the conclusions that the shaft cracked in a region subjected to severe static...

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