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A cross-recessed die of D5 tool steel fractured in service. The die face was found to be subjected to shear and tensile stresses as a result of the forging pressures from the material being worked. The presence of numerous slag stringers was revealed by microscopic examination of an unetched longitudinal section taken through the die. The pattern was microscopically revealed after etching with 5 % nital to be due to severe chemical segregation or banding. Considerable variation in the hardness, corresponding to the banded and non-banded regions across the face of the specimen was observed. The fracture was found to have originated near the high-stress region of the die face examination of the fracture surface. Failure of the die was concluded to have originated in an area of abnormally high hardness which is prone to microcracking during heat treatment for this grade of tool steel

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