Material Types for Spring Manufacture

28th April 2021

Different materials provide different properties in spring making. Here we take a look at the most common materials used:

Low-Alloy Steel

Although the intended use is always the deciding factor behind selecting the type of material, low alloy steel is usually better ferrous material than carbon steel in several ways. Manufacturers create low alloy steel by adding a set ratio of alloy elements like Molybdenum, Chromium, or Nickel.

Low alloy steel material provides several specific benefits over mild steel, making it appropriate for particular categories of springs. Low alloy steels feature extremely high-temperature properties leading to hot compressive strength. It implies that such springs get a crucial property of lasting much longer under axial stress. Research documentation proves that the addition of any of the three alloy elements can improve creep strength to achieve this sought after property of axial stress: Nickel, Moly, or Chromium.

Cold Drawn Wire

The cold-forming process is well known to provide better temperature tolerance, stress tolerance, and tensile strength, in addition to the usual benefit of improved surface finish. Cold drawing refers to the work-hardening effect. It alters the basic crystalline structure of steel, leading to a change in its mechanical properties.

Skilled spring manufacturers use several methods to manufacture different spring and wire forms. They can achieve the required capabilities and qualities for various applications.

Oil Tempered Spring Wire

Oil tempered spring wires are vital for everyday life as we use them widely for the automobile industry. Several small classifications define the wire properties in this category, including fatigue stress. We often use these wires in products like cars where suspension is critical for the functional ability of the device.

 

Bainite Hardened Strip

Hardened steel is essential for creating material that can provide more excellent fatigue resistance and strength. Bainitic hardening involves heat treatment of steel to get the desired properties. People prefer bainitic tempering to martensitic steels because this process hardly needs any additional heat treatment.

Stainless spring steel

Manufacturers create stainless steel by increasing the composition of chromium in the steel to a minimum of 10%, although practically, it is often close to 17% of steel. Moreover, it also includes 7% nickel, a little magnesium, and some carbon too. All these elements work together to create the most incredible quality of stainless spring steel which lies in its extraordinary yield strength.

Apart from making springs, people also use stainless spring steel in diverse applications like antennae, lock picks, and washers. There are many applications for stainless spring steel, but this material features a very important property of protecting against corrosion.

It offers protection against oxidisation and some organic acids due to a high chromium concentration in the steel. On the other hand, the Nickel element in the steel gives protection against atmosphere elements and acids like phosphoric acid.

Stainless spring steel is also appropriate for application requiring to endure high temperatures. You can hot work this type of steel below 1,700 degrees F. You may have to work at a temperature of around 2,100 degrees F to forge the stainless spring steel successfully. That is why most stainless steel forming work involves manufacturing via the cold working process. However, it may create unwanted magnetism in the material, which you will have to treat after the casting work is complete.

Copper- and Titanium Alloys

Mostly steel and its different alloys remain in high demand due to their versatility and affordable costing. However, some people also work with titanium or copper alloys. You can create Titanium alloys by using elements like molybdenum and Aluminium.

It is important to note here that Titanium alloys are much more expensive than usual steel alloys. It implies that you should prefer titanium alloys for working only in specific circumstances where you can justify higher costing. In most such cases, the application requires a high degree of precision in the final product. Prominent examples of such applications may include space travel or military aircraft work where accuracy is crucial, and you can justify higher costing.

People use both copper and titanium alloys in creating torsion springs. Such springs find their use in hinges and doors for regular service or even sophisticated medical equipment. Similarly, such material is also appropriate for use in retractable seats.