Have you experienced machinery or equipment malfunction due to a spring issue? Usually, such failures stem from damage related to age or stress, which negatively affects equipment functionality. But there are solutions. This guide will outline practical methods to restore spring functionality and extend the lifespan of your systems. We will discuss different repair methods, how to identify when a replacement is necessary, and preventative maintenance. We will also walk you through an example of an engineer fixing a conveyor belt system with faulty springs for better clarity. Let's dive into maintaining your springs better.

Repair Techniques vs. When to Replace

When a spring does not work properly, deciding whether to repair or replace it largely depends on its shape alteration and subsequent effect on a machine's operation, as well as the anticipated cost to replace. For example, if a spring displays minor shape changes or inconsistencies, it may be suitable for repair. This repair could involve cleaning, lubrication, or minor mechanical adjustment of the spring. It is however worth noting that these repairs might not be long-term solutions as minor alterations could be indicators of more notable wear. Oftentimes if the spring is commercial-off-the-shelf, it will be cheaper just to buy a new spring, assuming you are able to wait the time for delivery and replacement. If you're not sure exactly what spring model the spring is, check out our spring calculator and enter your dimensions to find some comparable options.

Contrarily, if a spring shows substantial distortion, breakage, or diminished original rebound capabilities, it generally makes more sense to replace it. This is because a greatly damaged spring can negatively influence machine operation and potentially cause safety concerns. For instance, if a heavily deteriorated spring breaks and triggers a machine breakdown, posing a danger to machine operators, replacing it would be the best course of action. When selecting a replacement spring, it's vital to ensure it matches the operational needs of the equipment, bearing in mind the specific operational characteristics of the machine.

Material and Design Considerations for Enhancing Durability

The reliable operation of springs depends on the correct choice of material and an effective design. Steel, due to its improved mechanical properties through hardening and tempering treatments, is widely used for springs. However, in situations that involve corrosion or high temperatures, alternatives like stainless steel or Inconel may be more appropriate. Stainless steel has natural corrosion resistance, while Inconel maintains its strength even in a wide range of temperatures. This makes the operating environment an important factor to take into account when selecting materials for springs.

The design of a spring is determined by its intended application. Various designs have their specific benefits and limitations. For instance, compression springs, capable of exerting a direct force, are suited for applications that need such a force. On the other hand, torsion springs, designed for rotational motion, are suited for applications that require rotational movement. The specific conditions and requirements of the application drive the choice of spring type.

In real-world scenarios, selecting an appropriate spring often involves making trade-offs between competing needs. A spring with a larger diameter wire may provide higher load bearing capacity, but it may reduce the coil count, which might impact the spring's flexibility and resilience. Therefore, attributes such as spring size, coil count, wire diameter, and load-bearing capacity all need to be carefully weighed during the selection process. The final selection should ensure that the spring is capable of consistently performing its intended function. Factors such as material type, environmental conditions, and design specifications need to be considered when designing a spring for a specific application.

Preventative Maintenance Strategies and Best Practices

To keep springs functional over long periods, vigilant monitoring and early detection of minor problems before they escalate is essential. Regular visual checks, for example, in a manufacturing plant, can help identify minor irregularities like deformation, or corrosion on springs, that might indicate underlying issues.

Maintenance also involves keeping springs clean and appropriately lubricated. The right lubrication helps mitigate wear. However, the choice of lubricant depends on the operational environment of the spring. For example, a spring working in high-temperature conditions needs a lubricant that is resilient to degradation from heat, thereby ensuring reduced friction.

Establishing a specific maintenance schedule based on the spring's usage can promote its functionality. The schedule should consider the type and frequency of maintenance needed, such as cleaning, inspections, and lubrication, to match the application's demand. For instance, applications with higher usage rates might require more regular maintenance compared to those with lower demands.


Restoring spring functionality strongly relies on understanding maintenance, repair, replacement processes, and the right selection of materials and design. Regular maintenance, including monitoring for wear and performance changes, enables early actions to prevent minor issues from escalating. Consider the properties of the particular spring in use and use this knowledge to prolong its service life. This could include choosing materials that resist corrosion better in humid conditions or adjusting the load capacity to align with usage demands. Therefore, regular checks and informed decisions are at the centre of extending a spring's life and performance.