Your partner in springs

Show/hide menu

Tag Archive: research

  1. Market leader through research & development – part 4

    Comments Off on Market leader through research & development – part 4

    Nothing varies like the lifespan does

    The lifespan of springs is something that nobody in the market, the spring manufacturer in particular, would stick his neck out for. The challenge is to keep on trying to achieve something in this area. When it comes to door springs (sectional, tilting, industrial or simply a garage door, it becomes easier. After all we have tonnes of testing data at our disposal. For these springs, drawing up a material and calculation specification, in connection with the lifespan, is easier.

    Of course this remains purely theoretical, because in practice there are many variables. This was reason enough for us to start organising a brand new test centre, early 2018, and invest even more in Research & Development. In the new R&D centre, testing takes place continuously, mostly in cooperation with market relations. Who would be more aware of the load specifications than the end user?

    The example of the trampoline

    Still, in many cases it is a matter of conjecture. An obvious example are trampoline springs. How exactly are the springs burdened? What risk lies in the fact that the springs may fail? In short, what is the actual desired lifespan? In case of trampoline springs with loop ends, one shouldn’t exceed 10,000 cycles (quasi static, because the loop end will always be the weak spot), but in practice that means perhaps only a week of jumping. Fortunately in these cases, we consult our partner to be able to adjust the design in order to tackle these kinds of problems.

    Of course, the question remains “how exactly are trampoline springs burdened”, for which there is no simple answer, so with regard to this, together with our partner, we perform a lot of fieldwork, data analysis and factually a complete DFMEA (Design Failure Mode Effect Analyses). “Learning by doing” as the saying goes and that applies to R&D in particular.

    Did you miss previous episodes of the research & development series? Read part 3 here!

    By: Marco Dekker | Head of research & development

  2. Market leader through research & development – part 3

    Comments Off on 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
  3. Market leader through research & development – part 2

    Comments Off on Market leader through research & development – part 2

    From troubleshooter with a lot of experience to partner in “predictive maintenance”

    In cooperation with our strategic partners, we investigate the specific technical requirements that our springs programme should comply with, to determine the lifespan of your springs in advance. For our customers we try, for instance, to prevent sudden production interruption and attempt to realise a situation of planned maintenance, together with you.

    The expected lifespan of all the springs in our standard programme is in accordance with the DIN and 13906. In case of springs, custom made for you, we look beyond the standard norms, because they depend on your specific situation and use. For instance chemical composition of the material and corrosion resistance play a significant role at high temperatures or in an aggressive environment. Alcomex has extensive expertise in the area of surface treatment, including: galvanising, anodising, phosphating and special surface-treatment processes.

    Based on our many years of practical experience, knowledge of engineering and internal testing, we have developed a complete programme in order to be able to determine the lifespan of extension, compression and torsion springs, matched to your application/use. The programme developed by us is based on several variables, including:

    • Application
    • Specific customer demands
    • Spring configuration
    • Chemical composition
    • Conversion degree
    • Ductility of the wire
    • Surface treatment
    • Thermal treatment

    Did you miss previous episodes in the research & development series? Read part 1 here! or read more of part 3 here!

    By: Marco Dekker | Head of Research & Development

  4. Market leader through research & development – part 1

    Comments Off on Market leader through research & development – part 1

    In the beginning there was nothing….well, there wasn’t a lot. When Alcomex opened its doors 25 years ago, it was headed by a visionary with a solid background of knowledge about industrial doors. He was supported by a few pragmatic staff members who were all passionate about technology.

    Practical solutions and technical know-how

    As a result of translating the customer’s questions and issues in the area of springs to practical solutions, from the very beginning, Alcomex has grown into a firm that has ample know-how of all kinds of spring-related issues. We have an entire extension, compression, torsion and leaf springs programme. In addition to these standard springs, of course it is possible to design custom made springs. In our different factories, we can also convert design into customisation.

    The customisation, the internally developed calculation programmes and special materials, all supported by continuous testing, make Alcomex a unique partner with solution-oriented approach, in combination with our passion for technology, as key values.

    Read more? View part 2 of the research & development series here!

    By: Marco Dekker | Head of Research & Development


logo alcomex