How Compression Springs Are Manufactured

Compression SpringsCustom compression springs manufacturing is a design and fabrication process that produces precision compression spring components for critical applications serving a range of industries. From medical devices to mining and drilling equipment, custom compression springs are essential components utilized by OEMs (original equipment manufacturers) in the production and manufacturing of numerous products, devices, tools, and equipment.

Compression springs are those familiar tightly wound, helical coil springs found in numerous everyday products ranging from retractable pens to vehicle suspension systems. As the name implies, compression springs are designed to provide resistance and absorb force when a load is applied. When loaded, the spring compresses, meaning, the visible space between the coils are compacted due to the pressure placed upon them but do not touch. The applied pressure creates and stores the mechanical energy necessary to carry the load until the force is removed. Once the stored energy is released, the spring is returned to its original position. When the coils of a compression spring are in contact it is an indication that either the load is too heavy, which means you have the wrong size spring for the application or there is a design flaw, or that the service life of the spring has ended and it needs to be replaced.

Popular Applications
More than just a shock absorber, compression springs are also used in applications as vibration dampers, pure energy accumulators, or force generators. Custom design configurations for compression springs—be it uniform, conical, convex (barrel-shaped) or concave (hourglass-shaped), as examples—will vary in relation to the application requirements. Custom designs are necessitated by the diverse number of product applications compression springs are used for. More than retractable pens and automobile suspensions, compression springs are integral components in a wide array of medical equipment and devices, they are used in electronic devices, mattresses and couches, watches, industrial machinery and tooling, power tools and equipment, in hydraulic systems, lawn and garden tools and equipment, firearms, toys, and much more.

Custom Compression Springs Manufacturing
Though there are several variations in the design of custom compression springs manufacturing, once the design requirements have been met and the material has been selected, the process is fairly standardized. Springs are fabricated through processes of winding, heat treating, grinding, and various types of finishing.

To begin the coiling process, the spring wire is fed into CNC spring coiler machines, which create precision coils with the correct tolerances for the required spring loads needed for the application. CNC machines are programmed to prepare the specific type coil being made, and also any type of forming or bending that may be necessary to fulfill the design specifications.

After a spring is formed it will typically undergo heat treatment. Essentially, heat treating is a stress-relieving process that allows the spring to return to its original position after a load is removed. The amount of time and the temperature settings for heat-treating springs will vary depending on the type of material and its size. Once removed from the oven and cooled, the design requirements may call for grinding an end or both ends for the application.

Either-or, the final step in spring design would be a finishing process, which calls for some type of surface treatment such as coating, peening, or plating. Springs may undergo surface treatments for a variety of reasons—to inhibit erosion, improve the material’s properties, and add to the spring’s overall appearance or aesthetics. Overall, finishing processes are intended to add to a spring’s functionality by augmenting its properties or extending its longevity for applications.

The more common challenges associated with engineering custom compression springs relate to material selection and determining the correct specifications regarding wire size, pitch, and even the number of coils. Both material selection and design specification is essential in meeting the spring’s application requirements. In selecting a manufacturer for your custom compression springs, your best bet is to look at the expertise and experience in the design and manufacture of a wide range of custom springs and wire forms. By partnering with a company that can ensure that you receive the highest-quality custom springs and service, you are guaranteed your production needs will be fulfilled.

Trusted Designers & Manufacturers of Compression Springs
Look no further than James Spring & Wire Company. We are an industry leader in the design and manufacture of custom compression springs that are presently used in millions of OEM products around the world. Our state-of-the-art custom spring manufacturing facility allows us to provide fabricators, engineers, and design firms with the best spring for the application at an affordable price. We have the capability to manufacture custom springs to your specifications. For more information contact James Spring & Wire Company today.