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Square-Section Springs Meet Higher Spec Without Size Increase

01 December 2005

William Hughes recently demonstrated how a switch to square-section spring material can improve the performance of a spring assembly without increasing its overall dimensions. In this case, the company was called upon to provide a spring assembly for seating being installed as part of the refurbishment of the Bournemouth International Centre. The seats are designed with spring assemblies that return them to the upright position once the occupants have left, but the specification called for a 100,000 cycle lifetime for these spring assemblies rather than the more usual 50,000 cycles.The challenge for William Hughes was to come up with springs that were stronger and more durable than those currently being used by the manufacturer, but which would still fit into the same spring cavity within the seat. To overcome the space/performance issue, the company proposed springs made from square-section wire. This allows the wire section to be increased for the same overall spring envelope. The springs are finally shot-peened to improve their fatigue life. As an additional bonus, William Hughes was able to tweak the CNC wire bending machine employed on this project to build a 'kink' into the spring, enabling its free movement around the hub.


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