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Design and manufacturing services tailored for client requirements have long been a hallmark of Capital Spring, an MW Industries Company. In addition to a portfolio providing more spring selections and wire diameters than the competition, the company offers zinc plating for corrosion control as part of its spring fabrication process.

If exposed to certain elements, steel can rust and degrade, which can lead to spring failure. Zinc plating provides a protective barrier against corrosion without modifying the spring’s properties, and Capital Spring offers more than one option to help customers combat product corrosion.

The most common plating process entails applying the surface coating mechanically by tumbling zinc powder, glass balls and the spring products in a rotating drum. The balls serve to disperse the powder as the springs are plated and protected. Another route made available by Capital Spring is the use of pre-plated wire secured from the company’s distributors. The zinc coating is applied to wire prior to the final drawing operation, producing a uniform coating and a surface hardness suitable for automatic spring coiling and mechanical forming operations without flaking, cracking or peeling.

What’s the difference between these approaches, and which might be best for your product? Let’s examine the merits and possible pitfalls of each plating procedure.

The use of pre-plated wire can reduce product lead times as the tumbling step is eliminated. The time savings should be weighed against the cost, as the pre-plated option incurs a greater investment. Mechanically plating springs all at once, particularly if there are many to be treated, is more cost-effective.

Cutting or grinding a pre-plated wire exposes a surface that is not protected by a zinc barrier. By post-plating, the entire spring is coated, thus eliminating this problem.

Despite the relative economic attractiveness of the mechanical option, the barrel plating operation may not evenly coat all of the springs. The tumbling action can cause the parts to tangle or break, leading to expenditure of time and energy to disentangle the springs once dry.

To learn how Capital Spring can deliver value for your company with customized service and corrosion protection for spring, fastener and metal components, visit their web site or call 614-418-0250.