Stainless Steel Springs Oxidation
Oxidation of Stainless Steel Springs
Many times customers ask why springs made out of stainless look discolored. Oxide grows out of stainless steel spring wire when the spring wire is stress relieved. The oxidation color is a yellowy-brown color that grows darker with higher temperatures during the stress-relieve process. This color is caused by light refraction of incoming light by the translucent multi-layer oxide. The color is a trick of the light and is not "real".
This yellow-brown color is resistant to corrosion and will not impair the function of the spring. However, if the discoloration needs to be removed due to cosmetic reasons, the springs can be cleaned off via a pickling process or passivating per ASTM A380.
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