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Choosing the right material for industrial springs

17 December 2019

When choosing a spring for your industrial application, one of the major considerations is the material, as this will determine the spring’s suitability for the environment it is working in. Choose the wrong one and you could be facing a costly redesign or repair job down the line. Justin Lawrence, Applications Engineer at TFC, explains the suitability of different alloys for specific environments.

When choosing a spring, the choice of material ranges from standard carbon spring steel, through a variety of stainless steels and all the way to more exotic nickel-chromium alloys. To make an informed decision regarding what material is best for your application a good understanding of the properties of each alloy with respect to temperature and corrosion resistance is essential. 

Temperature resistance

The first environmental factor that can influence the material choice is temperature. When springs are used in environments close to or outside their recommended operating temperatures, it can lead to permanent deformation, or in the case of extreme cold, to a brittle fracture. 

For applications operating at ambient temperatures, SAE 1070-1090 carbon tempered steel’s maximum recommended temperature of 121°C will probably serve you well. This standard material is widely used in many industrial applications. Tensile and yield strength are maximised as a result of the oil tempered martensitic structure.

Read the full article in the January 2020 issue of DPA.

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