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Still many spring wire medical applications use three hundred series stainless steel spring wire. Stainless steel spring wire used in medical applications have special coatings, unlike the normal soap coating used to lubricate spring wire so that it runs through the spring coilers with less friction. The very small-diameter spring wire used in medical applications are diamond drawn which lubricates, but with no soap or lubricant chemicals.
Guidewires are an interesting medical spring application. Guidewires are placed into arteries and veins to reach a specific organ such as the heart or liver. Guidewires are rigid which is why they are spring tempered, to allow doctors to maneuver them around vessels. The FDA is very involved with the approval of using guidewire devices. Strict guidelines are enforced with using guidewires not only by the FDA, but also by doctors themselves.
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A compression spring is an open coil helical spring that offers resistance to compressive force applied axially. Compression springs are commonly coiled as a constant diameter cylinder, below are several types of compression springs including:
These are used individually or in conjunction with each other. Round wire is predominant in compression springs because it is readily available and adaptable to standard coiler tooling.
Extension springs are closed-coiled helical springs that extend under a pulling force. Many design considerations must be made with extension springs including; initial tension, stress and deflection of hooks, hook end types.
Torsion springs are helical springs that exert a torque or rotary force and are subject to bending stresses. Torsion springs should always wind up from the free position - never to unwind from the free position. As they wind up, torsion springs reduce in diameter and their length becomes longer. Such springs should be supported over a rod whenever possible. Some spacing should remain between coils to minimize friction which can alter torque and deflection.
Flat springs are used to keep forces within restricted space conditions. Several materials are used including flat, high carbon spring steel, phosphor-bronze, beryllium-copper, stainless steel, nickel-silver and high-nickel specialty alloys. Formulas used to design flat springs involve small deflections, never more than 25% of the spring free length. Katy Spring can assist customers with the sometimes complicated designs of these types of springs, also known as beam designs.