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Type 302 stainless steel springs used in a printing operation failed by breaking into several pieces after two months in service. The springs were operating over a very small deflection and were regulating the flow of ink, in which they were constantly immersed. Fatigue fractures on every piece of the spring were revealed by visual examination. Each of the fractures was found to be oriented at 45 deg to the wire axis. Clear evidence of pitting corrosion at the fatigue fracture origin was also observed. Free chloride ions were revealed to be present in the ink in which the spring was operating. An alternative ink that contained no free chloride ions was recommended.

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