Popular Materials Used for Springs

The springs at Acxess Spring are made of metal, round wire. The wire can be of different material types which are divided into different categories. Such categories are high-carbon spring wire, alloy steel wire, stainless steel wire, and more extravagant categories such as non-ferrous alloy wire and high-temperature alloy wire.

The most popular though, are high carbon, alloy steel, and stainless steel wires. You can see the breakdown for non-ferrous alloys and high-temperature alloys at our “Properties of Common Spring Materials” page.

High Carbon Spring Wire

High carbon spring material types are the most popular and economical spring wire types. The most popular of the five listed materials used for springs is Music Wire ASTM A228 and then it is Hard Drawn ASTM A227. The remaining materials used for springs under this category are High Tensile Hard Drawn ASTM A679, Oil Tempered ASTM A229, and Carbon Valve ASTM A230. They pretty much have the same characteristics except, as shown on the table to the right, some have stronger tensile strengths than others as well as different hardness levels defined by their grade on the Rockwell Scale.

Notice: These materials used for springs are not recommended to be used under temperatures which exceed 250ºF (121ºC) or to be exposed to moist/corrosive environments for they will not tolerate such conditions.

Properties Table

High-Carbon Spring Wire

Material Music Wire ASTM A 228 Hard Drawn ASTM A 227 High Tensile Hard Drawn ASTM A 679 Oil Tempered ASTM A 229 Carbon Valve ASTM A 230
Nominal Analysis C - .70 - 1.00% Mn - .20 - 60% C - .45- .85% Mn- .60-1.30% C - .65 - .1.00% Mn - .60-1.30% C - .55 - .85% MN - .60 -1.20% C - .60 - .75% Mn - .60 - .90%
Minimum Tensile Strength 230-399 CLI 147-283 CLII 171-324 258-350 -- CLI 165-293 CLII 191-324 215-240
Modulus of Elasticity E psi x 10 ³ 30 30 30 30 30
Design Stress % Minimum Tensile 45 40 45 45 45
Modulus in Torsion G psi x 106 11.5 11.5 11.5 11.5 11.5
Maximim Temp. °F 250º 250º 250º 250º 250º
Maximum Temp. °C 121º 121º 121º 121º 121º
Rockwell Hardness C41-60 C31-52 C41-60 C42-55 C45-49
Method of Manufacture Chief Uses Special Properties Cold drawn.High and uniform tensile.High quality springs and wire forms. Cold drawn.Average stress applications.Lower cost springs and wire forms. Cold drawn.Higher quality springs and wire forms. Cold drawn and heat treated before fabrication,General purpose spring wire. Cold drawn and heat treated before fabrication suitable for cyclic applications.
General. High-Carbon spring steels are the most commonly used of all springs materials. Try to use these materials in preference to others because that are least expensive, readily available, easily worked, and most popular. These materials are not satisfactory for high or low temperatures or for shock or impact loading.

Alloy Steel Wire

Alloy steel wire materials used for springs include Chrome Vanadium ASTM A231 and Chrome Silicon ASTM A401. Chrome Silicon ASTM A401 is the material we use for large springs. Its characteristics in large wire diameters are very similar to those of Music Wire ASTM A228 so it is the most economical. Their characteristics are also very similar except Chrome Silicon ASTM A401 is a bit harder and has a higher tensile strength.

Notice: Chrome Silicon ASTM A401 will not resist corrosive environments or temperatures over 475ºF (248ºC). Chrome Vanadium, on the other hand, has a maximum working temperature of 425ºF (218.5ºC)

Stainless Steel Wire

Stainless steel wire materials used for springs are also very popular wire types. These spring materials get the popularity from their resistance to corrosion. There are three; Stainless Steel 302 ASTM A313, Stainless Steel 17-7 ASTM A313, and Stainless Steel 316 ASTM A316. Unlike previous categories, these materials used for springs are very different. They vary in elasticity and hardness for Stainless Steel 302 is the softest and Stainless Steel 17-7 is the hardest. The table to the right shows these specifications.

Notice: Stainless Steel 316 is known for being non-magnetic but, in the case of spring wire, it is only 85% non-magnetic.

Properties Table

Alloy Steel Wire

Material Chrome Vanadium ASTM A 231 Chome silicon ASTM A 401
Nominal Analysis C- .48 - .53% Cr-.80-1.10% V - .15 min% C-.51-.59% Cr-.60-.80% si-1.20-1.60%
Minimum Tensile Strength 190-300 235-300
Modulus of Elasticy E psi x 10 ³ 30 30
Design Stress % Minimum Tensile 45 45
Modulus in Torsion G psi x 106 11.5 11.5
Maximum Temp.°:F 425º 475º
Maximum Temp. °C 218.5 246
Rockwell Hardness C41-55 C48-55
Method of Manufacture Chief Uses Special Propeterties Cold drawn and heat treated before fabrication.Used for shock loads and moderately elevated temperature. Cold drawn and heat treated before fabrication.Used for shock loads and moderately elevated temperature.
General.The alloy spring steels have a definite plac in the fueld of spring materials,particularly for conditions involving high stress and for applications where shock or impact loading occurs.Alloy spring steels also can withstand higher and lower temperatures than the annealed or pre not regularly stocked in a wide variety of sizes.

Stainless Steel Wire

AISI 302/304 ASTM A 313 AISI 316 ASTM A 313 (631) 17-7 PH ASTM A 313 (631)
Cr-17.0-19.0% Ni-8.0-10.0% Cr-16.0-18.0% Ni-10.0-14.0% Mo-2.0-3.0% Cr-16.0-18.0% Ni-6.5-7.5% Al-.75-1.5%
125-325 110-245 Cond CH 235-335
28 28 29.5
30-40 40 45
10 10 11
550º 550º 650º
288º 288º 343º
C35-45 C35-45 C38-57
Cold drawn,general purpose,corrosion and heat resistant.Magnetic in spring temper. Cold drawn,Heat resistant and betler corrosion resistance than 302.Magnetic in spring temper. Cold drawn & precipitation hardened after fabrication.High strengh and general purpose corrosion resistance.Slightly magnetic in spring temper.
General.The use of stainless spring steels has increased considerably in recent years.Sevaral new compositions are now available to withstand corrosion.All of these materials can be used for high temperatures up to 650°f.