How to Determine If You Need a Spring Replacement
A spring replacement is necessary if you’re finding failing occurrences. Read more on these factors below.
Precision springs, extension springs, as well as other spring types are made from highly durable raw materials such as iron, stainless steel, etc. Although they are primarily designed for repeated, everyday use, springs can sometimes fail unexpectedly.
Springs fail due to inherent flaws within the design, though several other things can cause a spring to fail and require immediate replacement.
This article covers how you can detect signs of spring damage and the need to replace a spring.
How Can You Determine If You Need to Replace a Spring?
Any spring that requires replacement must have failed or started to fail. Many factors cause spring failure. Here are a few of them, in no particular order:
Rusted springs tend to wear down very quickly as rust causes friction when the coils move from time to time. This may even severely damage the metal.
If you notice that the spring in a machine or equipment is rusted, clean it or replace it with a new one. Rusted springs are also far more likely to break if not replaced or cleaned as soon as possible.
You can also oil any spring used in a damp area in order to prevent the buildup of rust. You can even purchase springs with a better finish as they usually are much more suitable for use in harshly corrosive environments.
Noble metals – e.g., platinum, gold, silver, etc. – are excellent choices for anyone that wants to avoid corrosion and the trouble it brings, though they are expensive. This is why they mostly require strengthening alloys in order to avoid breakage when used extensively.
- Cheap Construction
You may need a spring replacement when the current spring is made from inferior materials that cannot hold tension or tend to rust quicker than others.
This type of spring will wear out quickly and can’t be compared with springs made with highly durable and stronger materials. Therefore, do not settle for cheaply-constructed springs. If you notice one, replace it immediately with a durable option, or you may encounter serious problems in the future.
- Declining Performance of Equipment
If you suddenly notice that the overall performance of your equipment has significantly declined, or it has stopped operating smoothly, a spring or two may be responsible.
When springs fail, they can make your equipment shake and jerk while still running. Replacing the spring(s) may stop this occurrence and make your machine operate smoothly again.
Most garage doors use a specific type of spring designed for a particular number of open-and-close cycles. If you use the garage doors often – i.e., opening and closing them several times daily – it will cause the spring to wear out faster.
When you notice that the garage doors swing open or close with almost zero restraint, you may need to replace the spring. This is because the spring may have lost its tightness or elasticity. Continued use may lead to breakage.
- Vague Cycle Life
Two crucial questions that many equipment sometimes neglect are:
- “What is the expected life cycle of this spring?”
- “Is the life cycle of this spring infinite, or is it a static load that does not cycle?”
These questions are essential and often determine the exact amount of stress that must be calculated. This ensures the spring passes or exceeds all qualifying standards.
Some applications/equipment have limited life cycle testing, which is vital to the success of the spring. For instance, valve springs have infinite cycle lives, and center console hinge springs have low cycle lives.
Every industry has standards they stick to when it comes to the lifecycle of springs. The more information you have or know about the type of spring you use, the better off you will be when determining if you need to replace a spring or not.
- Improper Maintenance
In most cases, spring design contributes significantly to the lifespan of the elastic device. However, a spring may require replacement if it is not appropriately maintained.
If the equipment that uses springs is not adequately maintained, it could cause the springs to wear down more quickly. This results in application failure, and the only remedy is to replace the worn-out springs with a new set.
- Spring Stress
Most spring failure situations arise from applying force or stress beyond what the spring is designed to handle. Spring failure caused by stress results from flawed designs, which brings about overstress.
The application of too much force than is usually allowed for by the spring design causes the spring to take a set or break. For example, extension springs designed for strength usually have little elasticity. If this spring is extended too far, it will become highly stressed. This makes the spring highly vulnerable to breakage.
Severe spring damage usually occurs at the spring ends or the spring body. Adjustments will need to be made in order to prevent a re-occurrence of spring stress.
- Undefined Working Temperature
If the working temperature is not defined, it could affect the overall function of the spring within that environment. This could lead to equipment lagging or outright failure of both the spring and the equipment.
It is essential always to determine the operating temperature within which the spring is expected to function effectively. Undefined working temperature is one of the causes of application/equipment failure and must be addressed quickly.
Spring failure occurs due to several reasons. The ability to address these reasons results in less need for spring replacement.
However, some factors can still cause some springs to fail unexpectedly. Knowing how to determine if you need a spring replacement will help minimize downtimes, lost production, and significant loss of revenue in the long run.
This is why it is essential to consider working environments, storage, protective coatings, cycle lives, etc., of springs before buying and installing them in your machines/equipment.
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