What Materials Are Used in an Aluminum Spring?

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aluminum spring can store and release mechanical energy, absorb shock or conserve a force between contacting surfaces. It’s helix-shaped and can be made from various alloys. The material choice depends on the application, including how often the spring is flexed and if the stress is applied in shear or compression.

Copper-base alloys are commonly used in spring applications where electrical conductivity and corrosion resistance are important, especially for sub-zero temperatures. They are less expensive than the higher-strength nickel, iron and chromium alloys but do not perform as well in shear or torsion.

Alloy steels are popular materials for springs because they offer a wide range of sizes and shapes, high tensile strengths, good corrosion resistance and low thermal expansion. They can also be hardened and tempered to achieve specific tensile properties. They are more difficult to work with than aluminum but are still used in a variety of spring applications.

Iron is a soft metal that must be hardened to become a useful spring material. It can be hardened by heat-treatment or by carbon addition. Its strength is limited, however, by its low ductility. It can be strengthened by carbon addition, cold working, or by being annealed and then cold-drawn.

The following tables compare some of the popular spring materials, based on their tensile strength and other important properties. The top row is 6061 aluminum, and the bottom is ASTM A227 spring steel. The two materials are different in density, so some of the property values must be compared carefully.