introduced a Lite Pressure range. These are designed to deliver 7-103kPa pressure @ 80% deflection. Manufactured in type 316 stainless steel, they are suited to applications such as valves, pistons, syringes, motor brushes, dispensers, contacts and toys. Other specialist ex-stock springs include the High Pressure Range and Constant Force, plus Bantam and Wave Springs. If a suitable spring cannot be found

from stock, designers will find that most springs can be custom-designed and manufactured with support from the experienced engineering teams at spring manufacturers such as Lee Spring.

SPRING MATERIALS Most stock springs are manufactured in music wire, stainless steel, oil-tempered MB or chrome silicon steel. Material choice is an essential consideration. Key factors affecting this include:

meeting stress conditions, either static or dynamic; the capability of functioning at a required operating temperature; compatibility with surroundings (e.g. a corrosive environment); and other special requirements such as conductivity, constant modulus, weight restrictions, magnetic limitations, etc. Good examples are music wire springs

which are normally supplied with a zinc plating baked for hydrogen embrittlement relief, while die springs are painted different colours to denote duty. On the other hand battery springs are produced in music wire and nickel coated, because most alkaline batteries use nickel-plated containers. Here the use of similar materials removes the possibility of galvanic corrosion and enhances resistance to wear. Additionally, nickel helps to break down the oxide that forms on the surfaces of batteries. Lee Spring’s type 316 stainless steel

springs are passivated and ultrasonically cleaned. In addition, other special finishes may be specified. Furthermore, it is often forgotten that spring performance is affected by temperature, which should not exceed 120˚C for music wire, 260˚C for stainless steel and 245˚C for chrome silicon steel. It is also important to remember that

if a spring is used outside its physical capabilities it might break and the component or product in which it is used could fail. Obviously, getting the load and stress calculations, as well as material choice right, will help to avoid this, as will careful allowance for the operating conditions, particularly service temperature and presence of water or solvents. In recent years significant advances

have been made with some innovative spring materials brought to market as standard catalogue products. In particular we see increasing use of so called ‘super’ alloys – especially Elgiloy – a truly exotic mix of many metals, mainly Cobalt, Chromium, Nickel, Iron, Molybdenum and Manganese – a derivative from the early days of aerospace development when it was used for control cables on the Lockheed SR-71 Blackbird airplane. Elgiloy is a tough, ductile, alloy mix known for its excellent resistance to corrosive environments, elevated temperature resistance and high strength. Exhibiting no-magnetism, this is blue/brown in colour as a result of heat treatment and offers a good solution for extreme environments accompanied by mechanical properties similar to high carbon spring steel (music wire). The mechanical properties of Elgiloy

are often superior to stainless steel and other nickel alloys. It may also be considered for spring components in some medical applications and can often

The material in which the spring is manufactured is an essential consideration. In recent years significant advances have been made with some innovative spring materials brought to market as standard catalogue products

be used in lieu of titanium where it offers several advantages. Furthermore, it offers excellent bio-compatible characteristics and can be used from extreme low temperatures up to +450˚C. These characteristics have resulted in

Elgiloy being used wherever exceptional performance is required. Examples include gas turbine parts, rocket motors, nuclear reactors, submarines and, interestingly, orthodontic spring forms where light yet strong springs are needed and there is the possibility of manual adjustment to suit changes in the oral alignment. More industrially, springs made of

Elgiloy offer exceptional performance in severe conditions such as extreme high or low temperatures, under great pressure, and when exposed to outdoor conditions including extreme weather – situations where lesser alloys would simply not be adequate to the task.

GETTING ADVICE So, whatever your need, it is worth considering contacting your spring supplier for advice as they will be able to guide you through the various choices that are needed to create the most cost- effective specification for your application.


A stainless-steel version has been added to norelem’s range of steel gas springs. These corrosion-resistant components are, amongst other industries, highly suitable for food manufacturing. The gas springs use piston rods made from 1.4305 grade

stainless-steel, and the pressure tube is in 1.4301 grade stainless steel. The oil within the gas spring’s cylinder is also compliant with FDA regulation 21 CFR 178.3570. Suitable for use in temperatures between -20˚C and +80˚C, the springs are maintenance-free over their entire lifespan and are customisable. The standard range of gas springs are available with piston rod

diameters of 6mm to 14mm and a travel of 40mm to 400mm. For ease of installation they have threads on both ends, with numerous stainless-steel connecting and fitting elements available.


Reich Kupplungen’s Multi Mont range of pluggable claw couplings are available in a variety of different types. An easily customised concept for connecting shafts within a drive train to transmit torque, the range now covers a torque capacity from 40Nm right up to 1,000,000Nm. With these, each variant is designed to allow easy access to the flexible transmission elements, which can then be removed and replaced radially. The standard range utilises Spheroid Graphite (SG) Iron for the hubs and flanges. This

offers greater elasticity, resulting in a coupling which is less susceptible to damage. Depending on the individual product variant, a natural/synthetic rubber mix or Nitrile rubber is used for the flexible transmission elements. Natural rubber is proven to be the best material for damping, therefore Multi Mont couplings are ideally suited to applications where torsional vibration is present. Standard flexible elements have a temperature range of -40˚C to 100˚C, while silicone elements enable a temperature range of -70˚C to 120˚C.

Reich Drive Systems  T: 0118 978 1800

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