Spring Design Considerations

Allow Spatial Clearance
For all states of the spring’s usage (as it changes shape and size), it’s critical to allow for the necessary space and/or clearance.

  • Where will the spring function?
  • How much space is allotted throughout the spring’s various application phases?
  • Is there sufficient room for the spring to fully perform without causing high stress or friction that would increase the risk of failure?

Provide Stability
Friction that may be caused by spring contact; provide balance and stability with a stabilizing tube or rod.

Consider Load Requirements

  • If a load is required, what range of deflection
    must be maintained?
  • What is the frequency and velocity
    of the load application?

Define and Control Stress
Design to the proper stress for best economy. Stress levels can be balanced with several different tactics. Stress relieving does change spring dimensions. Temperature and length of time in the oven, as well as material type, vary the spring dimension changes. Qualified spring makers anticipate these changes to meet the specifications in the final product.

Define Tolerances Conservatively
Only specify critical tolerances. They add price to the spring design and manufacturing. NOTE: Critical dimensions should be determined early in the design phase to allow the spring maker to make adjustments or to compensate for allowable variations in both the size and mechanical properties of the spring materials.

Assess the Operating Environment
Will the spring be operating in a cold or hot environment? Will it be in contact with corrosive media? If so what kind?

Monitor Efficiency Opportunities
Consult with your spring maker to discover the most economical materials and methods that can meet your spring application needs.

Focus on Critical Dimensions
Only specify critical functional dimensions and wire gauge and allow the spring maker leeway in creating the best option for your needs.

Define Life Expectancy
Under its specified conditions, how long should the spring work or survive without breaking or setting?

Specify Testing and Inspection
Define how the spring should be tested, as well as your criteria for success or failure.

Send us your Spring Drawing (or image file), along with your questions or comments, using our Quick, Easy RFQ Form.

Operating Stress in Spring Designs

Source: The Spring Makers Resource

It is important that spring designs be considered early in the total design analysis. In settling on spring designs, the designer must choose the operating stress that fits his spring configuration and material choice. The solution must meet the chosen conditions of load, travel, and available space.

“The under-designed spring not only uses more pounds of material, it costs more to manufacture and requires more operating space. By designing a spring with high, but appropriate, operating stresses, you can realize considerable savings.

NOTE: If too little space is allowed for spring operation, it may become too difficult or impossible to design a workable spring within the stress limitations. At this point in manufacturing, it may be necessary to subsitute with a more costly spring material to attain a higher stress-carrying ability. If a material substitution is not a solution, the designer may be forced into redesigning the entire mechanism.

To ensure quality fit and function, we conduct a Spring Design Analysis on EVERY SPRING DESIGN to proactively address any potential design manufacturing challenges that may be encountered.

Advanced Spring Design (version 7) using TK Solver Technology. This software combines engineering expertise with customized calculations.

Metals Used in Spring Making

  • Copper Alloys
  • High-Carbon Steel
  • Nickel Alloys
  • Steel Alloys
  • Stainless Steel
  • Titanium

Spring Finishes

Coating options or finishes can improve the look or durability of your products. Most spring finishes will require additional lead times and may increase overall manufacturing cost. However, because finishes improve the life and performance of a spring, finishing may prove cost-effective down the road.

  • Cadmium or Zinc Electroplating
    Electroplating enhances the spring’s appearance and performance and improves resistance to chips and abrasion
    Available in clear, yellow, black, and other colors
  • Passivation
    Passivation is an acid treatment of stainless steel to remove contaminants. Because it cleans the spring and improves corrosion resistance, it is recommended for medical and food industries
  • Chrome
    Decreases surface friction and provides resistance to erosion
  • Copper
    Typically used in electronics applications
  • Dykem
    A dipping process; often used for identification purposes
  • Lacquer or Enamal Paints
  • Oils or Waxes – for Lubrication, Rust-Proofing
  • Phosphates with Oils or Waxes – which allow for bonding of paint