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A short fracture section of a forged and normalized Ck 35 (DIN 17200) steel slide showed three distinct zones: a dark colored crystalline area, an incipient crack propagating into a far advanced, rubbed fracture surface, and a fine crystalline final break. Metallographic examination showed the dark incipient crack was present before the last heat treatment and was oxidized and decarburized prior to the conclusion of the annealing process. The crack ran perpendicular to the fiber, so it was not formed before or during forging. It was a thermal stress crack produced during flame cutting of the middle section of the slide. The initial crack acted as a sharp notch favoring the formation of the fatigue fracture which lead to the failure of the slide.

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