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The cross bars of conveyor belt links that served to transport glass containers through a stress relief furnace fractured in many cases. They consisted of wires of 5 mm diam made of low-carbon Siemens-Martin steel, while the interwoven longitudinal bars were made of strip steel of 4 x 2 sq mm. The furnace temperature was said to be 500 deg C. In addition to the fractures they also showed many more or less advanced cracks. These occurred in the circumferential grooves that recurred at regular intervals. The fractures were abraded and oxidized. They could have been fatigue fractures. The fracture probably was induced by the pressing-in or abrading of the sharp steel band edges into the surface of the cross bars. Torsion fatigue fractures may have started from these notches. Relaxation then contributed positively through recovery and recrystallization. Such damage occurs less frequently in round wire conveyor belt links because the round wire neither impresses so sharply nor abrades against the cross bars, and it also exerts less torsion than the flat wire.

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