We can offer a full problem-solving consultancy, looking at any aspect of your use of springs. We work daily with customers from all sectors of industry, but particularly rail, aerospace and medical applications.
Most work we do follows the path below, but you may need just some of these services. It is vital to fully understand the problem, and the role that your spring is trying to perform. Our highly-trained and qualified engineers and metallurgists have years of experience in the spring industry solving problems like yours on a regular basis.
Most consultancies revolve around springs that have either failed completely, or are not performing to specification. We can sometimes tell a surprising amount from a simple visual examination of the fracture surface under an optical microscope, but usually it’s necessary to take a section and examine at higher magnification with a scanning electron microscope. Here we can look at the wire’s microstructure, check for surface defects or inclusions, and hopefully see what caused the fracture initiation. A measurement of chemical composition and mechanical tests confirm whether the raw material appears to meet its specification.
DESIGN VALIDATION AND IMPROVEMENT
The biggest single cause of spring failure can be traced back to the spring design. It is therefore important to take a critical look at the spring you are specifying to determine whether failure could be predicted from the outset. Material, geometry, dimensions, environment and required life are just some of the aspects we would consider.
If necessary, we can go one step further and come up with a complete spring re-design. As the trade association for the UK spring manufacturing industry, we are in a unique position to help you source production if necessary, and we’re always happy to work with your manufacturer to make sure the process is right.
Whether the initial design was suitable or was improved, it’s often worthwhile performing testing to build confidence in the spring. We have a unique test laboratory (ISO 17025 accredited) focused entirely on springs, where we can undertake load and torque tests, fatigue cycle life measurement and relaxation performance.
TRAINING AND SOFTWARE SUPPORT
Once your immediate problem is solved, it’s often useful to have some sort of formal training to help understand in more detail what went wrong, or how to improve the process going forward. We offer training either as an open course in our office in Sheffield, or can travel to wherever you are – this way can be particularly useful if you want to train a significant number of people, or want a more tailored course.
Our Spring Calculator Profession software is a key part of the design process, and we can give whatever help you need. The software is written in-house, and used by our design engineers on a daily basis.