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This study focussed on the work hardening behaviour and microstructure of austenitic manganese steel relative to premature failure of crusher jaws. Samples of sound and failed crusher jaws were taken, the change with depth from the working surface to the sample core was measured and their microstructures observed. The study revealed a sharp hardness gradient in the failed crusher jaws, and presence of large carbides at both the austenite grain boundaries and in the austenite matrix. The failuredoi:10.1590/s1516-14392013005000144 fatcat:kxyajytmrbdgxiu223movheu4a