In part one of this two-part blog series, we went over some of the metal and steel manufacturing terms that are commonly used in the world of custom spring manufacturing. This is a world that utilizes several potential materials for springs, and those purchasing springs should have a basic understanding of the metals used.
At Custom Spring Manufacturing, we use several different materials within our compression springs, torsion springs and other custom spring types. In today’s part two, we’ll go over a few additional materials, including those that relate to some of the initial options we went over in part one.
We went over alloys in part one – they are made when two or more metals mix with each other or a metal mixes with a non-metal. They allow for different chemical properties to be added to a given piece of metal.
Alloy steel, then, involves carbon steel being mixed with chromium and either vanadium or silicon. This mixture is technically carbon steel, but is referred to as alloy steel in most cases. These steels are more expensive than regular carbon steel, and are usually used when there isn’t enough room for ordinary steel and some has to be removed. In these cases, the steel that’s left over has to be especially strong to handle the load it’s used for.
Another very common steel type used in spring manufacturing is stainless steel, which is available in several classifications. The primary quality of various stainless steel types is the corrosion resistance, plus the hardness created by being forced through reduction dies.
Stainless steel is also more expensive than carbon steel. For this reason, it’s generally used when corrosion resistance is needed in the springs, such as for marine applications.
There’s only one metal regularly used for springs that does not have any iron in it, and it’s known as red metal. Red metal includes options like hard drawn copper, phosphor bronze and beryllium copper. The most common use of red metal is in electrical applications – this is because these alloys are weaker than iron alloys, but many such applications do not require high strength.
Technically, high nickel can be considered a component of stainless steel. However, it’s used in different quantities and for different general purposes, including high-temperature applications. High nickel does have great corrosion resistance, particular in caustic environments. It’s also commonly used when a lack of magnetism is needed in the project. If these aren’t needs in the project, the high cost of high nickel usually means it isn’t used otherwise.
For more on the kinds of steel and metal used in the custom spring manufacturing world, or to learn about any of our heavy duty or other springs, speak to the staff at Custom Spring Manufacturing today.