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The engine on a jet aircraft was shut down immediately as it produced excessive vibration. Complete failure of the cage in one of the two main-shaft ball bearings (placed side by side in the engine) was revealed in the dismantled engine. The ball bearings (made of vacuum-melted 52100 steel) were both of the single-row deep-groove type with split inner rings and were designed to operate at a maximum temperature of 175 deg C. Overtempering of the rings was indicated by the reduced hardness in comparison to unfailed rings. Severe damage to approximately 20% of the load-bearing surface, with more...

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