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High-horsepower electric motors were utilized to drive large compressors (made of 4340 steel shafts and gear-type couplings) required in a manufacturing process. The load was transmitted by two keys 180 deg apart. Six of the eight compressor shafts were found cracked in a keyway and one of them fractured after a few months of operation. Visual examination of fractured shaft revealed that the cracks originated from one of the keyways and propagated circumferentially around the shaft. The shaft and coupling slippage was indicated by the upset keys and this type of fracture. The shaft surface both near and in...

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