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# Articles

## All Things Springs: The Material Mix – What if I change to…

As I think of subjects to write about, I try to stay with typical issues that come up on a weekly basis. One subject that comes up frequently is material changes. It's fairly common for customers to alter a design by changing material types to improve temperature...

## All Things Springs: The Quick-Fix Spring Rate Compensation Formula for Coilers Only

One of the daily challenges for springmakers/coilers is the adjustment needed to yield nominal rate. As all spring manufacturers know, the only bill of material for a spring is the material used to make the part. That very material has a list of properties that vary...

## All Things Springs: Stress Formula – The Final Factor of Design Integrity

In the article titled “Rate Formula – For Those With Calipers,” I gave the example of the math needed to determine the rate of a submitted spring sample. With a few physical dimensions, we were able to calculate the rate. Our example had the following dimensions: d...

## All Things Springs: Rate Formula – for those with Calipers

Many times, I have received samples instead of a blueprint for quoting purposes. It is common to slip out to the QA department and have the spring tested for rate. However, there is another way to calculate the spring rate if you have a set of dial calipers handy....

## All Things Springs: Know a Lot with a Little Math

There are many concepts that require understanding to be successful in Engineering. As with any discipline, there are many axioms that are privy to a given field, such as spring design. One of the most misunderstood of those principles is the easy math behind...

## All Things Springs: Variable Rate?

A compression spring is defined as a mechanical device that produces a force when deflected and returns to its original height, ready to deliver the next repeat stroke and associated force. To accomplish this feat, the spring must produce a spring rate—a given amount...

## Going For Broke

Of all the things engineers solve in their careers, the most challenging is material fatigue and breakage. No matter what product a customer markets or the level of sophistication and imagination echoing through their halls, the question is the same … “why did the...

## All Things Springs: I’m Not Upset … But the Wire Is

When I started working in the spring industry, most of my exposure was with round wire. Round cross-section tends to behave more predictably than other wire shapes. When I started in Engineering, I had to face all different scenarios. One of the more interesting...

Both compression and extension springs have straight-forward calculations. In both cases, the springs are either being pushed or pulled and typically respond with forces that are predictable. Not a whole lot of surprises under conventional deflection practices. But...

## Compression Spring Requirements — The Absolute Basics

Spring design is a diverse career due to the nearly limitless possibilities of helical spring requirements. One customer may want a spring made from .011" music wire that requires force in ounces or grams, while another assembles a dump truck and needs a suspension...

## Shop Floor Specifications — The Filtered Details

I have worked at many spring plants and they all have had a culture and ways of doing things. Trends, managers, owners and factory software may vary, but one rock-solid practice was present at each factory–shop floor specifications. Many times called a “spec card” or...

## Rate Testing — Removing the Mystery of Preload

Testing the Rate of compression springs is one of the more common activities for spring houses. Spring Rate is the force created when a spring is deflected an inch. It is, therefore, the basic determinant of all loads at any height. The load created with a given...

## More Trickery — Lowering Spring Rate

In the Fall 2009 issue, we discussed spring rate and how rate can be increased with a manipulation of pitch. The practice of placing some coils of a helical compression spring closer than others, to increase rate, is a fairly common practice in the industry. But, what...

## Spring Trickery… With Nothing Up My Sleeve

One of the desired functions of a compression spring is that it stays linear during its deflection. In layman’s terms, this means that the spring should produce the same load for every inch it moves. If a spring has a rate of 10 #/in, it will deliver 10 lbs for every...

## Simple Devices, Big Problem Solvers

One day, I was talking to a new customer on the phone. As I started asking him questions on the specifics of the spring he needed, I could tell he was getting a bit frustrated with all the questions. He’d finally had enough and stated, “It’s only a bendy piece of...

## Sweat the Small Stuff

I started my career in the spring business pressing springs and operating several stress relief ovens. I worked another 13 years doing just about everything there was to do, including an eight year stint in a hot coil plant. After I changed employers to seek work in...

## Square and Rectangular Wire — The Good, The Bad, and…

I have had many discussions in this column about the attributes of non-round wire shapes. Virtually every type of spring design has been formed from square or rectangular material. And, the basic question is: “Why?” What do I gain or lose from using shaped wire?...

## When Worlds Collide

I went through my early years in the spring industry without knowing the meaning of “spring rate,” because no one explained it to me. And that’s too bad, because a fundamental knowledge of spring rate is a key factor to understanding other concepts. I have dealt with...

## The Human Factor in Quality Assurance

Virtually everyone in the manufacturing world has been exposed to quality standards. ISO is a popular worldwide standard that Wikipedia defines this way: The International Organization for Standardization (Organisation internationale de normalisation), widely known as...

## Spring Essentials – Torsion Springs – a little primer

In the world of springs, one type stands out as the answer to many applications. As with any mechanical device, it has its uses — and its limits. I’m talking about the one and only “torsion” spring. The word “torsion” implies something that twists or rotates —...

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