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Thats a good question.....I wwould think as the acid breaks down the spring tension would slowly be released as thespring disolved into the jar but I would suspect that the volume inside the jar may change and instead of spring pressure you may end up with air pressure in its place..so maybe when you opened the jar you may either have a pop or because of the acidic reaction you may have a gaseous situation where either the smoke from the metals breakdown in the acid may actually cause pressure maybe....?My brain is not to scientific.. am I even close...?
The energy stored in the spring would be converted into movement and cause permanent* deformation of the spring, when corrosion caused the spring to thin, weaken , buckle and eventually fracture.[...sorry, you cannot view external links. To see them, please
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I would picture the dissolved surface molecules of the spring moving off at speed as they became detached from their neighbours and the strain energy was transferred to Kinetic. The temperature of the acid would be increased as a result (in addition to that caused, possibly, by the chemical reaction)
Thanks RD...but the deformation will not be permanent...soon the spring will be all gone.
In what way will the ' movement ' manifest ?
I vote for sophiecentaur's answer. That said, if energy is apparently "disappearing" anywhere, it's a pretty safe bet that it'll emerge as heat I do like your question though, neilep. Whatever made you think of that?
If you were to leave your springy spring in water until it rusts away to nothing, then I suppose you would end up with spring water. Or have I miss understood (lovely young lady!) something? Am I missing something here, like a few brain cells, for example.......sorry, you cannot view external links. To see them, please
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I vote for sophiecentaur's answer. That said, if energy is apparently "disappearing" anywhere, it's a pretty safe bet that it'll emerge as heat 
Thanks sophiecentaur. So the energy will transfer as heat. Fascinating. I wonder if there is way to have a spring naturally decompose quickly in water to produce hot water ?....
It's OK..it just dawned on me that maybe the energy involved in coiling the spring in the first place would be more than the energy released !..perhaps ?