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This paper describes an investigation of a failure of a herringbone gear in a two high pinion gearbox used in a continuous hot re-rolling steel mill in Thailand. The gear failed prematurely after approximately 10 hours of operation. Standard investigative procedures were employed. It was found that the premature failure of the gear which appeared as a longitudinal crack was due to excessive stress. This excessive stress was the results of improper fit between the key and the keyway. The key was slightly too large for the keyway due to machining errors. It is concluded that poor manufacturing and improper mounting could lead to premature failure of the key components such as gears and could be very costly.
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