stainless steel compression springs

Springs play an important role in the function of many products and systems. When choosing springs, spring life expectancy is an important consideration. Since springs are used in such a broad range of applications and environments, spring life expectancy can vary and can be difficult to determine.

Some of the variables that influence spring life expectancy include materials used, environmental conditions, and the amount of force involved in the application. The way a spring is designed also affects how long the spring will last. In fact, most cases of premature spring failure occur due to a flaw in the design of the spring.

Spring design flaws that influence life expectancy can involve poor materials and workmanship, but they can also be due to improper design. If a spring was not designed properly for its application, you can expect the spring life to be very short. Stress or force beyond what the design allows can lead to spring breakage or cause the spring to set. For example, an extension spring designed for strength may lack flexibility. If extended too far, it may break in the body or at the ends.

Choosing the right material for the application is also important part of the design. Hard drawn wire is most commonly used for low stress applications, while high stress applications need a stronger choice, such as music wire. If the spring will be exposed to harsh elements, consider using a grade of stainless steel or zinc plating. These options will deter rust and improve the spring’s life expectancy.

One of the most important things to keep in mind about life expectancy is that it is very difficult to determine.  There are so many different factors involved, some of which are unknown, that it’s hard to define. The environment in which the spring operates is probably the biggest unknown. Discussing these environmental factors with our team will help ensure proper design and in turn a longer lasting spring.

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