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I always get mightily confuddled by various steel grades and types. Oh, I have the basics from 304 to 316 down pat, but when our Steve at Steel Strip mentioned to me that he’d started selling small quantities of spring steel I had to scurry off to Wikipedia to find out what spring steel actually was. All we get is this paltry stub:

Spring steel is a low alloy, medium carbon steel with a very high yield strength. This allows objects made of spring steel to return to their original shape despite significant bending or twisting.

Silicon is the key component to most spring steel alloys. An example of a spring steel used for cars would be AISI 9255 (DIN and UNI: 55Si7, AFNOR 55S7), containing 1.50%-1.80% silicon, 0.70%-1.00% manganese and 0.52%-0.60% carbon.

Most spring steels (as used in cars) are hardened and then tempered to about 45 on the Rockwell C-Scale.

According to Machinery’s Handbook, “The spring materials most commonly used include high-carbon spring steels, alloy spring steels, stainless spring steels, copper-base spring alloys, and nickel-base spring alloys.” According to the same, the most widely used spring steel is ASTM A228 (0.80–0.95% carbon) known as “music wire”.

Slinky Spring Steel
I presume we’re not talking about slinky spring steel?

It makes a change to hear of somebody prepared to service the little guy…..as it were. Here’s Steve’s raison d’etre and combined mission statement:

Whilst steel mills regularly insist on minimum order quantities of up to 5 tons, and stockholders upwards of a ton, we have recognised the need of smaller engineering companies who may require as little as a single sheet to complete a project, or to replace a part in an aging piece of plant.

It can be frustrating and time consuming for an engineer to spend hours on the telephone trying to source small quantities of spring steel, only to find the supplier loses interest the moment he realises the small quantity involved. To be honest it’s as a big a problem often for the supplier as for the customer! Not for us.

So, if you’re looking to buy spring steel in small quantities I’d recommend you go and have a word with Steve over at Steel Strip as he’s a top bloke. Or, you can give him a bell on 01709 740166. (Yes, he can ship worldwide.)

Oh, and I can assure you I’m not on any commission. I just like it when people aren’t trying to stiff smaller companies – especially when they happen to be a mate. ;-)