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A stepped drive axle (hardened and tempered resulfurized 4150 steel forging) used in a high-speed electric overhead crane (rated at 6800 kg, or 7 tons, and handling about 220 lifts/day with each lift averaging 3625 to 5440 kg, or 4 to 6 tons) broke after 15 months of service. Visual examination of the fracture surface revealed three fracture regions. The primary fracture occurred approximately 50 mm (2 in.) from the driven end of the large-diam keywayed section on the stepped axle and approximately 38 mm (1 in.) from one end of the keyway where the crane wheel was keyed...

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