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Stress-relief heat treating of steel is the uniform heating of a structure to a suitable temperature below the transformation range, holding at this temperature for a predetermined period of time, followed by uniform cooling. This article provides information on the sources of residual stress, briefly describes the factors influencing the relief of residual stresses, and discusses the various thermal stress-relief methods. It contains tables that provide a summary of compressive and tensile residual stresses at the surface of parts fabricated by common manufacturing processes. The article presents the temperature range of alloy steels for stress-relief heat treating and describes the importance of stress relief of springs.

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