Coil Spring Failures in Aerospace Hardware
Life testing of cyclic loaded, miniature extension springs made of 17-7 PH stainless steel wire and AISI 302 Condition B stainless steel wire has shown end hook configuration to be a major source of weakness. To avoid cracking and subsequent fatigue failure, it was found that stress concentration depended on end hook bend sharpness. Also, interference fits are to be avoided in the end hooks of small springs. Additionally, a need for careful consideration of the stress-corrosion properties of candidate materials for spring applications has been demonstrated by stress-corrosion test results for 17-7 PH CH900 and for Custom 455 CH850 stainless steels. Laboratory testing of these two materials in the form of compression springs confirmed the superiority of the 17-7 PH over Custom 455.