"Flat spring made of stainless steel"
"We're a manufacturer of bicycle saddle bags (www.bicyclebags.com); we are developping a bicycle handlebar bag that will require a spring actuated clipping mechanism. It will be made of flat stainless steel, gauge 24 or 26, dimensions 1.5in X 1.5 in. This piece will have to be bent at a 90degree angle at the center to reach the shape of a "L". The horizontal leg of the "L" will act as a spring as it will lock the clipping mechanism or release it when the user will press down on it. Question: Is heat treatment required before and/or after bending this stainless steel so that it can act a spring as described? Any info/insight/lead will greatly help."
304SS is not affected by heat treatment that will alter or improve spring properties. Its hardness (strength) is increased by cold work only. It is also not the most optimum spring material, as its work hardenability is less than that of other 300 series stainless steels, i.e., 302SS.
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