We are often asked to recommend a material for a customer’s flat spring, spring clip, battery contact, or other custom part. The standard response is that we do not make material recommendation, because the application requirements (e.g., spring force, conductivity, range of motion and corrosion resistance) are so critical to material selection. Our expertise lies in the manufacture of springs and stampings, not the design of the part for its intended function.
Rather, we suggest the materials that are viable alternatives relative to the manufacturability of a part. Many part geometries can be accomplished utilizing spring-tempered materials such as stainless steel, spring brass or phosphor bronze. When possible, these are preferable because they do not require heat treatment subsequent to forming, a process that can cause part distortion.
A very high percentage of the parts for which we receive requests for quotation have never been made before. Whether it’s a flat spring, a battery contact, a wire form or a spring clip, our customers are usually fully immersed in designing a part that will fit their product and function as required. The manufacturability of their part often takes a back seat, but this is our primary concern when reviewing a new design.
The most commonly considered factors for manufacturability include the tightness of bend radii, grain direction of the material, material temper, sufficient clearance for over-bending, and the distortion resulting from the heat treat process.
One particularly insidious potential problem that often goes overlooked is part tangling and nesting. Read More →
Here at Fourslide, we have long offered prototyping services for our customers. A very high percentage of the jobs we quote are for flat springs, contacts, clips, and other metal parts that have never been previously made, to be used in brand-new devices and products. We pride ourselves on helping customers make informed decisions about part design that save them both time and money.
We’re frequently contacted by customers seeking assistance with a custom spring, clip or battery contact for their new products. Often, it’s the last item on their shopping list. The designs of other components – be it PCBs or plastic injection-molded parts – have already been chiseled in stone.
Waiting until the tail end of the design process can have some undesirable consequences. Read More →