How Springs are Made
The process of making a spring is surprisingly interesting. A simple piece of metal is twisted and coiled to create a high-powered, bouncy object that will contract and expand over and over without damaging the metal. If you are interested in springs, then you might like to learn how spring companies make their springs from the ground up.
A straight wire is coiled around a mandrel. This is done by a lathe, a hand crank, a computer, or a spring-winding machine. A guiding mechanism controls how far apart each twist on the spring will be. Thinner wires can be coiled without heating, but thicker metals must be heated before they will coil properly.
After coiling, the metal has undue stress on the coils caused by the twisting and coiling process. The springs are heated in a large oven to help relive the twisting stress. The coils are then allowed to cool slowly to prevent them from hardening too quickly and becoming brittle.
Depending on the kind of spring, it can have a multitude of different finishes. For a flat-ended spring, the ends are ground to make the flat shape. Some springs are finished by pelting them with tiny steel balls to strengthen and compress the spring. Each spring is compressed to the smallest length and cut to the right size. Some springs are coated in paint, rubber, or a metal coating to prevent rusting and corrosion. After the finishing process, the springs are packaged and sent to the customer for use or additional distribution.
Nearly all spring companies use a similar manufacturing process to create their springs. Whether the company makes tiny watch springs or heavy duty vehicle suspension springs, the construction process remains the same from start to finish.