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Material Types

There are many different types of material that can be used in spring production. Each material has different compositions and properties.

A spring material needs to have the capacity to store energy by elastic deformation, which covers most metals as well as gases and some plastics. So although gas springs are fairly common, the majority of all springs manufactured are helical springs made from a metal of some sort.

At Skegness Springs we keep a large range of materials in stock ready for immediate use. These include the following:

Carbon Steels:

  • Patented cold-drawn carbon steel wire (BS5216).
  • Pre-hardened and tempered carbon steel wire (BS2803).
  • Cold rolled carbon steel spring strip (BS5770 pt2).
  • Pre-hardened and tempered carbon steel spring strip (BS5770 pt3).

Stainless Steels:

  • Cold-drawn austenitic stainless steel spring wire (BS2056 types 302S26 and 316S42).
  • Cold-rolled austenitic stainless steel spring strip (BS5770 pt4).
  • Other types of Stainless Steel.

Low Alloy Steels:

  • Pre-hardened and tempered steel spring wire (BS2803).

Nickel-based alloys:

  • Inconel X750 (Nickel-Chromium alloy)
  • Elgiloy/Phynox (Nickel-Chromium-Cobalt alloy)
  • Hastelloy C276 (Nickel-Molybdenum-Chromium alloy)
  • Other Nickel-based alloys.

Copper-based alloys:

  • Phosphor-Bronze spring wire (BS2873 PB102 & PB103).
  • Phosphor-Bronze spring strip (BS2870 PB102 & PB103).
  • Beryllium-Copper spring wire (BS2873 CB101).
  • Beryllium-Copper spring strip (BS2870 CB101).

Miscellaneous Materials:

  • Enamel coated copper wire.
  • Titanium alloy 318 spring wire.
  • Precious metals such as Silver or Gold.

There are numerous factors that can affect a choice of material for use in a spring. Perhaps the most important of these is the strength of the material: BS5216 carbon spring steel is the strongest of the common spring materials, closely followed by Inconel X750 and then BS2056 stainless steel.

But, of course, carbon steel will very quickly rust, even in normal operation. Put it in salt water and it will be useless within a few weeks. Stainless steel may be used in these sort of conditions but it is slightly more expensive and not so strong. Inconel is a strong material and very corrosion resistant but it is also very very expensive. it is usually only used in extremely corrosive environments or where reliability is crucial.

The operating temperature will also play a part in your choice of material. The maximum reliable operating temperature of a spring can be as low as 150°C for carbon spring steel, 300°C for stainless, but upto about 550°C for Inconel X750. Call us for further information.

The final choice of material may also depend on other factors such as appearance. Stainless steel or Inconel will not corrode but after heat treatment they are not shiney as would be expected. Stainless steel goes a yellowey colour and Inconel goes dark brown. If a shiny finish is required then the material could be plated after manufacture in which case we would usually suggest using a standard carbon spring steel.

The best way to decide which material is best is to give us a call and have a chat with one of our design experts. He or she will happily answer any questions you may have regarding choice of material and the performance of that material in use. Find out how to contact us here.

Download our Simple Guide to Springs information sheet:
Simple Guide to Springs - Adobe PDF format (200Kb) Adobe PDF Format, 195Kb Simple Guide to Springs - Microsoft Word format (239Kb) Microsoft Word Format, 149Kb

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