Market leader through research & development – part 3

If only technology was that simple!

As we have started the project “foreseeable” lifespan, time after time we are struggling with the essential, yet also contradictory technical aspects.

In terms of strength calculation, for instance, we desire a high tensile strength, because Alcomex uses the maximum burden of the wire as a calculation criteria. In various spring configurations, this is 50% of this tensile strength. Increasing this will have consequences, because if the tensile strength becomes too high, this will result in a wire that is of no use (too rigid). Also material suppliers won’t be happy with those requirements as they imply a process auditing. If this audit is not satisfactory, tinkering with the pre-material will be required.

What we have seen over the last few years is that wire-tensile process largely influences the quality of the end-product. Material, percentage of carbon, conversion degree and other specific process steps have significant influence on the type of wire we use.

From high quality to customer-specific customisation

In the early days of Alcomex, we used to work with the SH, just like everybody else did. SH quality, according to EN 10270-1, but at Alcomex we stopped using that a long time ago. Presently we are working with EN 10270-1 TURBO materials. These are materials that are manufactured almost entirely specifically per supplier. This way, all our extension, compression and torsion springs are high-quality made. This almost entirely specific treatment per supplier can even be enhanced. When talking about customisation, Alcomex will even translate the requirements or application of a customer into wire-specific requirements.

The greatest challenge we are currently working on is the combining of all our test information, experience, knowledge of the wire-tension process and technical calculation, conform the EN DIN 13906-1, into one lifespan formula. This formula, in combination with the customer-specific demands and processing of application data in its entirety, may lead to a solid basis for “foreseeable” lifespan.

Did you miss previous episodes in the research & development series? Read part 2 here!

By: Marco Dekker | Head of Research & Development
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