Spring Steel Project

I'm about to undertake a project and was considering using spring steel as a backing where flexibility is needed.
The spring steel will first have to be cut into strips and then
shaped, and I was looking for experiences from anyone who has worked with this material.
Is it difficult to cut? And how difficult is is to bend into needed shapes?
I'm open to better material recommendations if there is a different alloy that maintains it's shape better after stress is removed.
Thanks.
Darren Harris Staten Island, New York.
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Ahm no 'spert, but I did fool around with this for a while. Blue spring steel is miserable hard, miserable to cut. You CAN bend it as is, depending on the radius, angle of bend (which I did, in a jig), but the right way is to anneal it, bend it, re-harden it. But my app was OK without all that.
Mercifully, you can buy coils of spring steel in a variety of widths, thicknesses from MSC, et al. I got quite a bit of this stuff if you need it, in Yonkers, about 1/4" wide by .020 or so. These are easy to snip to length, depending on how "good" the end has to be.
You can also buy sheets of spring steel from msc, approx 6x9" or so. I used to cut these with a fine abrasive wheel on a surface grinder, 75% thru, and then just snap. SUPER sharp edge, watch out.
Staten Island still exists?? Y'all got hammered hard.
--
EA


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A little more definition of the project might be in order. How much deflection under stress. What type of material is it supporting. How do you plan to attach the backing to the front material.
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On 28/01/13 17:44, Searcher7 wrote:

I've got 16swg, 14swg and 12swg annealed carbon spring steel. I usually bandsaw it but see no reason not to shear it if you have a suitable shear, I would expect it to be somewhat like stainless and go for a shear that could do twice the thickness of mild steel. I expect more information is out there regarding cutting properties. Regarding bending, if bending perpendicular to the grain it can be bent severely but bending parallel to the grain it is prone to split unless heated, I usually heat to a dull red and that works fine.
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If you get the unhardened stuff, it's easy to shear/punch/drill/file/ bend/whatever. You can shave the unhardened stuff with a good knife. Of course, then you have to harden and temper. If this is a production job(10s-1000s), farm that part out to a heat-treater. Onesies can be handled with a propane torch, a firebrick, a can of oil and a good eye. Make several to get one, you'll need to gain experience. One source of stock I use for flat and V gun springs is Brownell's, search their website. Get a good book on spring-making from the library, there are formulas to cover the various sorts of springs. Or you can eyeball it and make a bunch of different ones until you get it right. Just depends on whether you want to do springs or get your project finished.
Alternative spring material is phosphor bronze, hard(hammered) brass would be another. Just depends on how much force you actually need. Both would be adequate for switch detents and contact springs, not so hot for car suspensions. See book recommendation above.
Stan
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On Monday, January 28, 2013 3:01:26 PM UTC-5, Stanley Schaefer wrote:
bout to undertake a project and was considering using spring > steel as a b acking where flexibility is needed. > > The spring steel will first have to be cut into strips and then > shaped, and I was looking for experiences fr om anyone who has worked > with this material. > > Is it difficult to cut? And how difficult is is to bend into needed > shapes? > > I'm open to bette r material recommendations if there is a different > alloy that maintains i t's shape better after stress is removed. > > Thanks. > > Darren Harris > S taten Island, New York. If you get the unhardened stuff, it's easy to shear /punch/drill/file/ bend/whatever. You can shave the unhardened stuff with a good knife. Of course, then you have to harden and temper. If this is a pr oduction job(10s-1000s), farm that part out to a heat-treater. Onesies can be handled with a propane torch, a firebrick, a can of oil and a good eye. Make several to get one, you'll need to gain experience. One source of stoc k I use for flat and V gun springs is Brownell's, search their website. Get a good book on spring-making from the library, there are formulas to cover the various sorts of springs. Or you can eyeball it and make a bunch of di fferent ones until you get it right. Just depends on whether you want to do springs or get your project finished. Alternative spring material is phosp hor bronze, hard(hammered) brass would be another. Just depends on how much force you actually need. Both would be adequate for switch detents and con tact springs, not so hot for car suspensions. See book recommendation above . Stan
I'd never bother attempting to make conventional compressions springs unles s I really had to.
I basically just need no more than 45 bends/curves in flat strips.
I'll have to look up how to anneal and re-harden this material.
Thanks.
Darren Harris Staten Island, New York.
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