Springs are used in many more items than you may think, from writing pens to wristwatches, springs are everywhere. Types of springs are almost as varied as their uses, and the same is true of the materials that springs are made of.
A lot of it depends on what project you are working on, and the materials needed. Whatever you are working on, it is important to choose the material that offers the properties your project demands.
So how do you choose the right spring material that you need?
Music wire is a common material for making springs, as it is a high-carbon steel wire known for its impressive ability to withstand the stress of compression and decompression without breaking or becoming deformed. It is important to note that music wire is more susceptible to corrosion than other materials.
Springs made of nickel alloys can withstand extreme heat and cold, as well as highly corrosive environments. As nickel alloys are not magnetic, they are commonly used in devices such as chronoscopes and other indicating instruments.
In addition to their superior corrosion resistance and ability to endure sub-zero temperatures, copper alloys also offer high electrical conductivity. Springs designed from this more expensive material are often found in electrical components.
Stainless steel wires are generally used for their corrosion resistance and heat resistance. There are three main types of stainless steel; austenitic, martensitic, and precipitation hardened.
- Austenitic stainless steels can only be hardened by cold work during the wire drawing. This material is most commonly used where resistance to corrosion and/or relaxation is required. They are weakly magnetic and in the spring hardened form. Working temperature is up to 300 degrees Celsius.
- Martensitic stainless steels’ higher strength is obtained through hardening and tempering. They possess good corrosion resistance but inferior to austenitic stainless. They are strongly magnetic and have poor electrical conductivity. Working temperature is up to 300 Degrees Celsius.
- Precipitation hardening stainless steels are age hardened to increase their tensile strength and are higher than austenitic stainless steels. Fatigue resistance is excellent but can be prone to occasional stress cracking. Their corrosion resistance is less than austenitic stainless. The working temperature is up to 320 Degrees Celsius.
A host of coatings and other surface treatments are available springs. Some of the most common include:
- Zinc plating, which helps protect against corrosion
- Tin plating, which facilitates easy soldering and improves corrosion resistance
- Black oxide, a black coating used mainly for decorative purposes
- Electro-polishing, a process in which surface material is removed from a spring, giving it a glossy finish, which raises the fatigue limit ad improves resistance to corrosion.
At Airedale Springs, we are an industry leader always looking to the future, developing hand crafted bespoke springs, with a team that has the knowledge to create a great cost effective result every time. We have a drive for world class quality and are committed to providing excellent service. Get in touch with a member of our friendly team for more information on what we offer.