Vulcan Spring’s products, including constant force springs, are primarily manufactured from AISI Type 301 Stainless Steel. The resistance of this steel to general atmospheric corrosion is very good. However, they may be adversely affected when exposed to certain chemicals or environments, which may induce hydrogen embrittlement, stress corrosion cracking and corrosion fatigue.
While we are not experts in this matter we can offer some guidelines:
- Always store springs in normal interior, dry conditions. Do not store in uncovered, external areas, particularly in industrial and marine locations.
- If possible, design applications where the springs operate in normal dry atmospheric conditions.
- Avoid installations where the springs are wetted intermittently or continuously by water containing chloride salts, e.g. sea spray, leaks from water pipes and water drips from masonry or cement.
- Avoid installations where springs are exposed to hydrogen being produced by chemical reaction or by electrolysis, e.g. electroplating baths, electric batteries undercharge. Also, do not use in areas where chlorine exists such as swimming pools.
- Do not treat the surface of the springs with coatings which may generate hydrogen, e.g. acid phosphate coatings, etch primer coatings.
- Hydrogen may also be generated when stainless steel is in wet contact with zinc, cadmium, aluminum and its alloys, magnesium and its alloys, and steel coated with the above metals.
- Avoid applications where the springs are exposed to, or in intermittent contact with, agents known to attack stainless steel, such as alkali halide solutions, neutral and acidic sulphurous reagents and inorganic nitrates.
- Avoid using cleaning agents known to attack stainless steel such as hydrogen sulfide and chloride concentrations.
This list is certainly not inclusive and we suggest that all applications be tested prior to production. Vulcan can offer alternative materials in special cases so please discuss this with a Vulcan Engineer.
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