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In metal working, I'm not familiar with the term "nipping". Though I suspect you may mean shearing during preforming or peening, which is part of the annealing/ stress relieving which is often done to help either spring steel or malleable steels. 

I believe that leaf springs are often made of ASTM grade A689 or A685. Unlike chromed metals which can fatigue over years or wear or experience flaking or spalling, the aforementioned grades are both durable and affordable.  

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In order to make the stresses developed in all the leaves of a leaf spring same .The radius of curvature of leaves of leaf springs is made different. because of this an initial gap forms between the leaves of a leaf spring, this is known as nip and this process is known as nipping.

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