The importance of a spring failure analysis is to detect the mode of failure of compression, torsion, or extension springs and determine if metallurgical, environmental, or operating conditions played a factor at the time of the failure. To prevent spring failure from happening, it’s important to know the three main causes of spring failure.
In most cases, the cause of spring failure is stress or force that exceeds what the spring was designed to withstand. Applying too much stress can cause the spring to break or set. Failure due to spring stress is usually the result of a flawed design and damage often occurs at the spring body or ends.
Knowing the application for what the spring will be used for is crucial in the selection of the spring wire material. The choice of material will depend on the functional requirements of the spring. For example, Iconel X750 Springs have good corrosion resistance at high temperatures but are not suited for extension springs that require initial tension. A more common material for extension springs is 302 stainless steel. Understanding different wire types will help in selecting the right material and reduce the likelihood of spring failure.
While Spring material is a factor, the type of finish of spring is also important. Springs can also fail if they’re exposed to harsh conditions. The application of the spring will determine if the spring is left plain or finished with a coating using: zinc plated, black oxide, passivate, or another type of coating.
If you’ve experienced spring failure, Spring Houston’s team of experienced engineers can help in assessing the problem and designing a spring that fits your application requirements. Contact us today for failure analysis or help with designing your spring!