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Steel Springs vs. Copper Springs

Views:382 Author:Site Editor Publish Time:2024-02-27 15:56:36 Orgin:Site

If you are at the crossroads of springs, specifically deciding whether to select copper or steel spring for your application, you are going to need some research to back your choice. The puzzle is that both springs boast a distinct set of properties that significantly impact the performance and lifespan of your application. To cut through the chase below we check on their features and a verdict on the best spring for specific settings.

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Strength and Durability

In strength, there is no better choice than steel.  Such springs resist loads without losing shape due to their high yield strength. They are thus perfect when support is important, such as heavy machinery suspension systems, high-pressure valves or, for example, the catapults that launch fighter jets off aircraft carriers. Just imagine what force is required to compress a spring in a car's suspension system when hitting bumps and maintaining vehicle stability. Yet, springs made of steel can endure all the road stresses without compromising safety of use.

Copper on its part may not be as robust as steel but it has a lower yield strength with the added advantage of being highly malleable which makes it a good choice, too. For example, copper springs are used in plumbing because they absorb vibrations and pipe pressure swings without bursting.

The simplest example is a copper spring in a faucet; it allows turning the handle easily while keeping water inside.


Corrosion Resistance

Steel is prone to rust mostly in areas with a high rate of humidity. In marine life, let's take the instance of a boat trailer with steel springs. They are subject to constant exposure to salt spray which can quickly lead to rust and degradation. In an attempt to prevent corrosion, most manufacturers coat their steel springs in substances like zinc or nickels that make them last longer. However, these coatings inevitably increase prices and require regular maintenance.

Copper has excellent resistance against corrosion than bare steel. For this reason, copper springs are ideal for applications which tend to be exposed to moisture or caustic chemicals. Among other uses found on board such as bilge pumps for boats where seawater gets into contact with the metallic components of the pump; copper springs are highly preferred due their exceptional capability of resisting saltwater corrosion. They experience no rust in marine conditions.



Steel does not conduct electricity very well. In spring applications this trait doesn’t matter much but it could be one thing that defines whether it will work or not based on electrical conductivity required.  For example, if there’s a steel spring inside a mattress it wouldn’t need any conducting capabilities.

Copper is excellent in electric conduction, so it is the best choice when there is a need to lead electricity through spring. For example, copper springs are used in electrical systems to ensure that there is safe dissipation of current during fault conditions. This makes their enormous conductivity indispensable for safety purposes in many electricity applications.



Steel does not get tired easily as it can be loaded and unloaded multiple times without experiencing fatigue failure.

Think of a spring in the car’s suspension that has to go through endless cycles during its entire life; hence, the metal is fatigued enough to survive the continuous stresses.


Fatigue Resistant

Steel possesses a great resistance to fatigue which implies that it could be subjected to numerous loading and unloading cycles without breaking. Consider the everlasting oscillations of a car’s suspension spring over its lifetime: thus, this material’s tiredness guarantees that it will carry on against such long-lived strain.

Compared with steel, copper has less resistance to fatigue. Nonetheless, some form of cyclic loading can be borne by copper though it cannot find application in high-fatigue instances. For example, one cannot use copper springs on critical machine parts that undergo millions of stress cycles.



Generally, steel is more economical compared to copper. These factors make steel springs an excellent choice for many applications where cost plays a major role. A case in point is the children's toy manufacturers who would go for steel because it is much cheaper than copper.

Copper is usually higher priced than steel due to better conductivity and corrosion resistance. Nevertheless, there are situations in which long-term benefits associated with the inherent properties of copper overshadow initial price.


Take away

The best spring material for your application will be determined by considering your specific needs very carefully. See below:

1. Choose strength and durability First: If it is an application that is a play for high load capacities, choose the steel type of springs.

2. Copper Springs for Complete Corrosion Resistance: The copper springs attribute comes with just the part to be utilized in the situation of an environment where moisture, saltwater, and several other corrosive chemicals are involved.

3. High electrical conductivity—Use copper springs in making crucial electrical connections through the spring being manufactured.

4. Low Weight: Choose copper springs for weight-sensitive applications where reducing the overall system mass is crucial.

5. The limitation: Steel springs in general provide a low budget solution for most of its applications where budget remains among the chief considerations.


However, please remember, this is in general comparison analysis; for detailed recommendations, your spring manufacturer is always the best contact to appraise your application requirements specifically for its application. Understanding the unique properties between steel and copper springs will inform your decision on which kind of material will be selected to make or ensure the success of a product in question.


Be it the building of a bridge, for pin connections in bridge construction, or making a better mousetrap, which material to use between steel and copper becomes an important deciding factor. So, now that you are armed with this knowledge, you can pick the perfect spring for the job.