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A stuffing box (sand cast from ASTM A 536, grade 60-45-10, ductile iron) began leaking water after two weeks of service. The machine was operating at 326 rpm with a discharge water pressure of 21.4 MPa (3100 psi). Investigation (visual inspection, mechanical analysis, and nital etched 100x magnification) supported the conclusion that the crack initiated at the inner edge of a lubrication hole and had propagated toward both the threaded and flange ends of the casting. An appreciable residual-stress concentration must have been present and caused propagation of the crack. The residual stress might have been caused when a...

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