When it comes to spiral springs, there is much diversity. Despite their various materials, sizes, and geometrical complexity differences, these springs have a common objective: they are vital components used in the automotive industry, aerospace, medical devices, and electronics. However, how they were created remains unknown.
Even though we easily incorporate them into our technological world today, we have yet to learn how they are made. It’s not as easy as it appears; creating such springs necessitates a lot of planning, especially considering the various categories. Therefore, today, we start by lifting the veil and looking at each stage of production that intricately solidifies the structural integrity of these indispensable springs.
The Spiral Spring manufacturing process starts with its design phase. A critical phase whereby complex diagrams are made through computer-aided design software (CAD) to give an idea of how the final spring will look after production. The design aspect includes factors such as the size of dimensions, load capability deflection requirements, material consideration, and application area.
Both size and operative tasks require precision; thus, the spring must match specified measurements and align themselves with surrounding systems. The design and specification stage serves as a prelude, shaping the blueprint for the actual spring while emphasizing the need for accuracy in both form and function.
A spiral spring's performance depends on the spring material you choose. It goes without saying that you ought to be careful with the selection to ensure optimal functionality and long-term sustainability. Mind you, there are options from high-carbon steel and stainless steel to aluminum.
These distinct materials bring distinct characteristics to the table. They directly influence factors such as durability, resilience, and corrosion resistance. Therefore, knowing the right material to pick before commencing the manufacturing process will set you on the right path to achieving that spring that suits your applications.
Wire drawing is a process where the wire passes progressively through dies of required specifications to give specific diameters. This systemized reduction ensures uniformity and consistency.
As such, wire drawing aims to mold the spiral spring shape and size in the earlier production process. It ensures that proper material specification precedes the production of dependable and long-lasting springs.
The next step after wire drawing is wire straightening machines. This process is crucial in ensuring that wires are made even, removing any irregularities, and establishing a degree of uniformity. Given the critical roles these dimensions play in overall spiral spring quality and performance, the value of this stage cannot be overstated.
Any irregularities or deviations in the wire could result in a compromised spring structure and even affect the next stages of production. Feeding for wire straightening increases its accuracy in the final product. It's key to attaining exact specifications, meeting stringent quality requirements, and forming a basis for subsequent manufacturing processes.
Spring tempering is a heat treatment process crucial in manufacturing to enhance the mechanical properties of materials. It's vital when you are using steel as a raw material for spiral spring production. So, tempering is all about heating the spring, making material at a specific temperature, then cooling it at a controlled rate.
Typically, the material is heated below its critical temperature. This will relieve internal stresses induced during previous manufacturing processes. Subsequent controlled cooling, often through air or oil quenching, allows for the formation of a tempered martensitic structure.
You can expect this to bolster the spiral spring material's ability to deform and return to its original shape without being permanently compromised. And that's what is needed in spiral springs, especially when subjected to cyclic loads.
Tempering is the key to the optimal balance of hardness and flexibility, ensuring longevity and reliability in various applications.
This step makes use of spring manufacturing machines. Even better yet, their operations are within the confines of the CNC (Computer Numerical Control). So, what comes into play are computer-aided design programs and computer-controlled manufacturing.
As the wire passes through the rotating mandrel, it embraces the cutting tools fixed into place by design. Expect to deliver the desired spring shapes with much-needed accuracy in relation to tolerances, high repeatability, and flexibility.
CNC machines for springs indicate a tremendous improvement from conventional methods of manufacturing springs. These machines achieve a fine mix of precision and adaptability using computer-aided design and computer-controlled manufacturing.
The outcome is a spring with uniform quality, good repeatability, and negligible raw material waste. CNC technology allows for quick setting as well as easy modifications of spring dimensions, making the process apt for rapid prototyping or an environment that requires continuous design modifications.
It is important to note that mechanical coilers are suited for high-volume production. In such instances, mechanical coilers are employed since they can use rotating mandrels and cutting tools to form the wire into a spring form.
Therefore, they are worth consideration when producing thousands in a single batch within just a few minutes. This is especially useful for dimensions of spring forms where uniformity is to be maintained. That works for industries that have prescribed measures regarding springs.
The cylindrical shapes are achieved in mechanical coiling through the rotating mandrels and cutting tools. What makes these machines count is their flexibility with wires of different sizes and compositions. That means the springs must be tailored to meet some specific industrial requirements.
The production of complex or small spiral springs with intricate shapes calls for multi-slide and multiple four-slide machines. Devices of this kind are specially designed to curve wires into complex geometries that comprise inserted parts or complicated bending, coiling, and forming.
The spring multi-slide forming involves using a machine with multiple slides and tooling stations. These components are designed to shape a wire or strip of metal into the desired spring configuration. The whole process generally allows you to shape multiple parts, increasing productivity simultaneously.
As for four-sliding, it is a similar process, often used for flat or wire-form components. It involves a machine with four horizontal slides that move in coordination to form intricate shapes by bending and stamping metal.
Both processes are suitable for high-volume production, providing cost-effective solutions for the automotive, electronics, and aerospace industries.
In the production of spiral springs, automatic spring assembly generally involves the use of machines and robotics to streamline spiral spring coiling and assembling procedures. Generally, using a computerized setup, or the CAM system, a coiling machine is used to precision wind continuous wire into a helical shape, forming the spiral spring. This will ensure standardization as well as accuracy in the size of the coil.
Automated systems may add extra components to the spiral spring by either providing hooks or loops at the ends of the coil at the assembly stage. Such would include accurate addition of such constituents and increased manufacturing process efficiency.
Quality control measures may also be implemented through automation to check the undertakings against the finished springs. In other words, spiral spring automated assembly generally enables speed in production, reduces labor costs, and guarantees reliability and repeatability.
The use of robotic handling systems in spring manufacturing factories helps to boost automation, and it is an important process in all processes of spiral making. These systems also conduct material handling, load/unload parts, and transfer components between various production stages.
Through the implementation of robotic systems, efficiency is highly increased, demanding minimal human resources and reducing the chances of errors. This automation increases productivity in production through a guaranteed flow between different stages involved.
Robotic handling systems have revolutionized spring manufacturing automation since they were introduced. They can handle tasks like material change and both load and unload parts, even from one production stage to another.
The presence of robotics in the manufacturing system makes it efficient, reducing human labor while minimizing errors. Production is accelerated and runs smoothly through the various stages, hence high operational efficiency.
This step calls for spring-end grinding, ensuring the final product's precision and uniformity. The spring ends could be uneven after coiling or have burrs. Spring end grinding through specialized machines will grind and shape the ends of coiled springs according to specific design requirements.
It is responsible for eliminating all irregularities and brings about an even characteristic in a spring's dimensions and pitch rate.
Usually, grinding machines use abrasive wheels or belts to attain the required form and finish. Precision remains central in the spiral spring production process since it directly affects how long the spring lasts and performs. Spring end grinding improves the overall quality of spring, thus making it dependable in diverse applications such as automotive suspension systems and industrial machinery.
Shot peening machines also fortify the strength to resist dented and hardened stress corrosion and fatigue of spiral springs. These machines subject the surface of the spring to spherical metal shots using compressed air or centrifugal force. These shots create controlled plastic deformation on the surface, inducing compressive residual stresses.
During the peening process, the shots impact and plastically deform the material, preventing crack initiation and propagation. This strengthens the surface and minimizes the risk of fatigue failure, especially in cyclically loaded springs. This process of shot peening gives an extended life to the springs without making any compromise on their structural integrity.
Spring testing machines are critical in ensuring quality during manufacturing as they become a top priority. These machines mechanically test manufactured springs by measuring load, displacement, and fatigue life parameters.
When all-round tests are done, they ensure that the springs produced meet and surpass the set quality standards. This thorough scrutiny confirms reliability and suitability for different applications.
After shot peening comes the investigation of the mechanical performance tests, which test the quality and reliability of the spring. The investigation generally uses machines that focus on recording load, displacement, and fatigue life parameters during testing processes.
Therefore, it is important to carry out comprehensive tests to ensure the spiral springs are impeccable and exceed strict quality requirements placed on their application. This thorough inspection guarantees not only their reliability but also compatibility and resilience.
With every spiral spring manufacturing, there is a need for product traceability, quality control, and customization. That's when Laser marking comes in, and it involves using a focused laser beam to engrave or mark the spring surface. It is typically applied to label springs with essential information such as part numbers, batch codes, or company logos.
The laser beam interacts with the material, creating a permanent and high-contrast mark without physical contact, minimizing the risk of damage to the delicate spring structure. It's a fast, accurate, versatile, non-contact method that ensures precision and consistency, efficient production, and reliable spiral spring identification.
Automated sorting and packaging are where advanced robotics and computerized systems come into play. Following the spiral spring production, automated sorting system sensors and imaging technologies will have the spiral springs inspected and classified according to pre-set parameters. That's either by size, weight, or according to quality requirements.
That ensures that only the compliant products go through to the packaging stage. After the sorting, automated packaging machinery takes over and precisely arranges and seals the springs according to specific customer requirements. Such systems enhance speed, accuracy, and consistency to minimize human intervention and error in sortation and packaging.
In general, automated sortation and packaging contribute to productivity increments. But there is more for you to benefit from. That ranges from cost-effectiveness to achieving high-end spiral springs according to the industry standard.
So that's all about spiral spring formation. From material selection to laser marking, there are no shortcuts. Each step plays a crucial role in the spiral spring’s structural integrity.
The landscape nowadays keeps on changing with the emergence of novel technologies that are all in a bid to boost spiral spring structures, durability, and functions. But till discoveries arise, we will remain with CNC machining, robotics for assembling, shot peening, and laser marking.
If you are looking for already-made spiral springs, GL Metal has mastered the art of spiral spring production for over twenty years. You can count on them to deliver any spiral spring designs you have in mind.