When it comes to spring manufacturing, we have come an incredibly long way from when springs were first used in mainstream society. Some examples of the first springs to be made include the bow, leaf springs for vehicles and wooden springs for mattresses.
As we have passed through the Industrial Revolution, we have gained a greater understanding in metals and how they behave on a physical level. As such, it is important to know what metals are used to manufacture springs and their advantages.
Focusing on Steel
Predominantly, the metal that is used in spring manufacturing is steel. Steel is an alloy of iron and other additional elements, such as carbon. Iron isn't particularly strong on its own, which is why additional elements are added. Carbon is the best additive, as it is incredibly strong and it can effectively increase the strength of steel.
As such, the alloy that is used to manufacture springs falls into three categories:
Low alloy steel, which is more commonly known as alloy steel
Medium carbon steel, where the carbon content ranges between 0.3 and 0.6%
High carbon steel, where the carbon content ranges between 0.6 and 1%.
What About the Additional Alloyants?
Even though manufacturers add carbon to steel, other elements are added to change the structure of the steel and use it to their benefit.
Chromium is a popular alloyant that is used to improve strength, ductility, toughness, and hardness. Other incredibly popular alloyants that are used in carbon steel, which is sometimes referred to as spring steel, includes molybdenum, silicon, nickel, and copper.
We take these for granted, but each of these elements provides their own unique traits. For example, chromium in a large quantity can be used to treat the corrosion of iron, copper is one of the best electrical and heat conductors available on the planet, and silicon is incredibly effective at absorbing shock loads.
How About Going Above and Beyond?
Manufacturers across the world use these alloyants to benefit their products but there are also some people that use a larger quantity of alloyants to completely change the structural integrity, chemical composition and physical properties of the alloy; these alloys are known as superalloys.
Most superalloys are used to combat the issue of corrosion, which is extremely prevalent in ordinary steels, as well as increasing the tensile strength and ultimate yield of the alloys. By doing this, super alloys are typically used in applications where the springs are used in ultra-demanding working conditions, such as engines and other strenuous environments.
It is incredibly important to understand the chemical composition of each metal that we use, otherwise adding certain elements could lead to reduced strength. That's why, here at European Springs, we test every single type of spring that we manufacture to ensure its strength and durability are up to the mark and can withstand any type of stress and strain.
If you would like to know more about the processes that we use within our spring manufacturing procedures, then you can contact us today on +44 208 663 1800 and one of our incredibly friendly members of staff will be more than happy to help.