Understanding the Differences in Spring Wire Materials
Understanding the Differences in Spring Wire MaterialsChoosing the right spring wire materials when developing a torsion, extension or compression spring will make all the difference between enjoying a cost-effective, successful project or an expensive, failed project. In addition, certain factors directly impact your choice of optimum material for spring projects, such as tensile strength, corrosion resistance, elastic deformation, electric conductivity and operating temperature/environment. Before selecting the right type of spring wire material, consider the environment impacting operation of the spring, the amount of deflection, frequency of cycles and the ratio of wire form or spring expense relative to the cost of the overall project. Custom spring manufacturers offer springs and custom wire forms composed of the one of several wire materials: Hard Drawn MBHigh carbon spring steels (cold drawn) are commonly utilized spring materials. Easily worked and inexpensive, Hard Drawn MB material is not meant for low or high temperatures, impact loading or shock. When deflection, accuracy or life is not too important, Hard Drawn MB is a good choice for a spring wire material. Stainless SteelA cold drawn, general purpose spring wire material, stainless steel is heat/corrosion resistant and magnetic in spring temper. Alloy steels with 10 percent or more chromium provide better corrosion resistance than alloy or plain steels. Springs commonly use precipitation and austenitic hardening. Music WireMusic wire (cold drawn) is a high carbon spring steel that has uniform, high tensile and the ability to withstand high stress under repetitive loading. Considered the toughest of spring materials, music wire also offers an excellent surface finish. High temperature spring wires are often found in foundries, heat treating, refractories and other processing operations exhibiting extremely hot internal temperatures. Brass Spring WireBrass is slightly more expensive than other spring wire materials but offers good water and corrosion resistance. Due to their sturdy flexibility, brass springs can store large amounts of mechanical and potential energy. Most brass spring wire material is a zinc and copper alloy consistently of around 50 percent copper. Phosphor BronzeIdeal for customized springs and wire form springs requiring medium electrical conductivity and dependable physical properties, Phosphor Bronze is a more cost-effective alternative to copper (Beryllium). This material is cold worked to achieve the desired temper. Oil TemperedDelivering durability, strength and malleability, oil-tempered spring material is great for springs requiring large wire diameters and the capability to support heavy-duty equipment. Oil-tempered material is also a good choice for torsion springs. Copper-Based AlloysBeryllium copper is one of the strongest copper-based alloys offering good corrosion resistance and electrical properties for many low temperature, marine and electrical spring applications. Custom spring manufacturers also design Beryllium copper springs for mold making, robotic welding, landing gears and oilfield tools applications.