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Spring and Wire Form Guide: FAQs

Searching for more information about our spring and wire form manufacturing services? Have concerns about expenditures, spring wire sizes or design information?


The Leader in Single and Double Torsion Springs


Have a spring or wire form related design or ordering question?

From wire dimensions and standard spring sizes to tackling tight tolerances, Master Spring is here to answer all of your spring and wire form design questions. Browse our list of frequently asked questions below? Or, If you have specific questions about wire sizes, tolerances and applications we invite you to contact Master Spring  or explore our Resource Center.

1. Do you stock standard spring and wire form parts?

No. We manufacture all parts per your print, sample, or specifications.  However, we can be a more economical source for standard or catalog springs when quantities reach production levels.  We keep your blanket orders in stock and deliver per your just-in-time releases.

2. How can I minimize cost when searching for the right spring?

Cost is always a concern for product designers and purchasing agents.

Savings can be addressed in the following ways:

  1. Material: Different material properties cost more than others do. Therefore considerations such as operating environment and corrosion must be considered. Learn more.
  2. Finishing: Does the material need to be electroplated or can a pre-plated material be used? Is the part used in a manner that passivation is necessary? Is the concern aesthetic, function, or both? Learn more.
  3. Packaging: Do the parts need to be packaged a specific way to help in assembly? Is tangling an issue? Is standard quantity per box a requirement? Should parts be bagged?  Learn more.
  4. Quantity: Blanket orders are encouraged so that we can lock in material costs and be assured of material availability. A higher quantity decreases piece price perhaps offering a more competitive bottom line for the user. Learn more.

3. Do you have a quality system in place?

Yes.  Our quality system is based on ISO 9001.  We are certified in order to ensure that our springs and wire forms consistently meet customers’ requirements, and that quality is continuously improved.  Our goal is to provide our OEM partners with predictable quality and supply.  We are proud of our quality system.  Learn more.

4. Do you accommodate rapid prototype orders? 

Yes, we work with engineers from established OEMs on rapid prototype orders.  Our goal is develop long-term partnerships with OEMs where we support all of their spring and wire form needs, from prototypes to production quantities.  We prefer not to work with solo inventors or design engineering firms that only order prototype quantities.

Our knowledgeable staff can help OEM engineers throughout the challenging phase of prototyping by offering advice and design review.  Learn more about our rapid prototyping services. Contact us today for more information.

5. Do you make your own tooling?

Yes.  If a custom tool is required, we have the machinery, skill and experience to make it in-house to save cost and time.  We normally purchase a full set of standard tooling that covers the wire diameter range for each machine that we own.  Most orders do not require custom tools because of our large tooling inventory and the flexibility of our high-tech forming machines.

6. Can you prevent tangling in packaging?

Yes. Master Spring has several means to prevent tangling in packaging and shipment. Some include bagging, paper layering, placing parts on a tack-a-board, and stringing parts. These methods can be discussed at the time of quotation. Learn more about this service!

7. What are the important considerations when designing a spring?

Smart spring designs are dependent on many factors including dimensional and load requirements.

Consideration throughout the spring engineering process should be given to the following:

  1. Environment: Will the spring be operating in a cold or hot environment? Will it be in contact with corrosive media? If so what kind?
  2. Life expectancy: How long must the spring survive or work under the specified conditions without breaking or setting?
  3. Load: Is a load required and if so over what range of deflection must it be maintained? What is the frequency and velocity of the load application?
  4. Space: Where will the spring be functioning? During what application and in how much space? Is there sufficient room for the spring to operate fully without causing high stress that can increase the risk of failure?

8. What kind of tolerances can be imposed on a design?

In most basic terms, tolerances should allow spring makers to fabricate quality parts by ordinary production means in the most economical way. Therefore the critical dimensions should be determined early in the engineering process to allow the spring maker to make adjustments or to compensate for the allowable variations in both both the wire size and mechanical properties of the materials.

Product designers often impose the “standard tolerance box for machined dimensions” to spring designs which prove impractical based on history and the nature of spring materials. Such boxes must be reviewed and more realistic tolerances applied.

Our spring design review team would be glad to help product designers determine what is critical and what specific tolerances should apply.  Please call us at 708-453-2570 for spring engineering tips.

9. The print says, “Remove all burrs and break all sharp edges.” Does this affect performance and/or cost?

Burrs can be minimized during the wire forming process. However, sharp edges are a natural result of the cut-off operation. Sharp edges are generally harmless and removal of such can add more costs without adding any value to the spring performance. Give a second thought to adding the requirement to your drawing.

10. What does stress relieving do to the spring dimensionally?

Stress relieving does change spring dimensions. Temperature and length of time in the oven, as well as material type, vary the spring dimension changes. We anticipate these changes so final product meets specifications. In general the following is true:

Stress relieving or heat treating affects the type of springs as follows:

  1. Extension: reduction in initial tension; change in hook position; change in spring diameter
  2. Compression: reduction in initial tension; change in spring diameter
  3. Torsion: reduction in initial tension; low temperature stabilizes position of ends

11. If I change the material size, what does that do to a spring?

If you change a wire diameter by 1%, your spring rate will change 4%. So an increase in wire size by 1% will result in a 4% stronger spring. The converse is also true. A decrease in wire size of 1% will result in a 4% weaker spring.

12. If I change the material size by 1%, how much change in torsional stress will I get?

You will get a 3% change in torsion stress on the spring wire size.

13. What is the effect of changing the mean diameter by 1%?

If you increase the mean diameter by 1%, the change in spring rate will decrease by 3%.

14. If I add a coil, what does that do to the rate?

Adding a coil weakens the rate. Removing a coil strengthens the rate.

e.g. If you have a compression spring that has ten active coils and a spring rate of 90 lbs./inch, and you want to get a rate of 100 lbs., how many active coils do you need?

  • Step 1: Single Coil Rate = (# of Active Coils) X (Spring Rate)
  • Step 2: Active Coils = (Single Coil Rate) / (Spring Rate Required)
  • Final Answer
  • Step 1: Single Coil Calculation = (10 Active Coils) X (90 lbs./inch) = 900 lbs./inch rate
  • Step 2: Active Coils Calculation = (900 lbs./inch rate per single coil) / (100 lbs. rate required) = 9
  • Final Answer: 9 Active Coils

15. What types of finishes are available, and what are the benefits?

Master Spring & Wire Form Co. offers several coating options to improve the look or durability of your products. These finishes do require additional lead times and may increase cost. However, finishes may prove cost effective down the road by improving life and performance of a spring.

Zinc plating

  • Description:
    Electroplating; available in clear, yellow, black, and other colors
  • Benefits:
    Enhances appearance and performance.
    Improves resistance to chips and abrasion.


  • Description:
    Acid treatment of stainless steel to remove contaminants.
    Recommended for medical and food industries.
  • Benefits:
    Cleans product.
    Improves corrosion resistance.


  • Anodizing: available in clear or various colors
  • Black oxide: results in a black appearance
  • Chrome: decreases surface friction; provides resistance to erosion
  • Copper: often used in electronic applications
  • Dykem: process where parts are dipped; good for identification purposes
  • Nickel/Tin: bright and shiny in appearance
  • Paint or Powder Coat: numerous colors available

A Compression Spring Success Story

Manufacturing Springs for the Automotive Industry

Learn how Master Spring was able to manufacture a compression spring with exacting tolerances to support the thin walls of an automotive hose -- without the spring protruding the hose. The result: we are able to produce approximately 6,000,000 of these springs per year to spec.



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    © Master Spring and Wire Form Co.

    1340 Ardmore Ave., Itasca, IL 60143

    Phone: 708.453.2570 | Fax: 708-453-6420