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Do Compression Springs Lose Tension When Compressed?

Posted on February 13, 2020 by IDC Spring

Many people rely on the operation of springs in their daily lives, both in their homes and businesses. Usually, the only time you notice these springs is when they break or are not working correctly. You may wonder, dosprings wear out from being compressed? What causes a spring to lose energy and be less effective? Here’s what you need to know about springs under tension.

Does Leaving a Spring Compressed Weaken It?

A spring under tension for an extended period of time can become weaker. Any object will either resist or deform when subjected to outside stress. Springs are specifically designed to deform in order to absorb energy from outside stress, then return to their natural state when they release that energy.

Fatigue

Over a long enough period of time, fatigue can occur, which is a condition where enough stress has repeatedly acted on the object and some deformation becomes permanent. In this case, it is harder to regain its complete normal shape. This is essentially what happens when a spring wears out. If the spring is well-constructed, then under normal circumstances, you should go through many cycles of compression or release over many years before fatigue occurs.

Creep

Creep is another phenomenon that may affect a spring under tension. Creep refers to when an object is exposed to a compressing structural load that creates a high level of stress that is less than the yield strength of the material. Creep is more often seen when the spring is subjected to high levels of heat for a long period of time, but it can happen anytime extended stress occurs.

As a result of creep, the spring deforms as normal but cannot regain its complete normal shape, essentially accelerating the effects of fatigue. If enough creep occurs, the spring may deform so much that it is unable to collect sufficient potential energy to do its job. As a result, the spring is weakened, sometimes even to the point where it does not function at all and must be replaced.

How to Protect Your Springs

extension spring planter row unitTo avoid spring weakening due to creep, minimize stress on your springs whenever possible. Do not leave your springs under constant compression unless this is required for them to do their job. Do not subject them to high temperatures if it can be avoided. If your springs are in conditions that are likely to lead to creep, be sure to check them regularly and replace them when necessary.

Another solution to prevent fatigue in your springs is using springs with the right materials and finishes. Certain spring wire materials and finishes can make spring more durable and resistant to fatigue. Wire material like oil-tempered, galvanized, and hard drawn as well as finished like shot peening, plating and powder coating can provide longer spring life cycles, improve rust resistance and better durability.

Order Springs from IDC Spring Today

Another way to protect your springs is to make sure you buy high-quality springs in the first place. At IDC Spring, we are the spring experts, and quality is our number one priority. To learn more about how we make top-quality springs or to order springs for your projects, contact IDC Spring today.

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