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Designing Springs for High-Humidity Environments

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Technical springs are essential in many industries, including automotive, aerospace, and manufacturing. They store and release mechanical energy in response to external forces.

This makes them ideal for various applications, such as shock absorbers, suspension systems, and valve actuators. The importance of technical springs cannot be overstated.

They play a critical role in ensuring the proper functioning of complex machinery and equipment. However, designing technical springs for high-humidity environments presents unique challenges that must be addressed to ensure their longevity and performance over time.

Explanation of Technical Springs and their Importance in Various Industries

Technical springs come in many shapes and sizes depending on their intended application. They can be made from materials such as steel, titanium alloys, or even plastics that respond differently to high-humidity environments due to their chemical composition. In the automotive industry, technical springs are used extensively for suspension systems that provide smooth rides even on bumpy roads by absorbing shocks from uneven surfaces.

In aerospace industry, they are crucial components that keep planes safe during takeoff by ensuring proper alignment between aircraft components. Technical springs also ensure consistent pressure throughout pneumatic systems in manufacturing processes, which is crucial for quality control.

Overview of High Humidity Environments and the Challenges They Pose for Spring Design

High-humidity environments present unique challenges when designing technical springs because moisture can lead to corrosion, rusting, or other forms of material degradation over time if not properly designed using appropriate materials. For example, suppose a spring is made from ordinary steel or iron alloy without any protection against corrosion for use on equipment exposed to high-humidity environments. In that case, it will slowly corrode, leading to a reduced operational lifespan due to gradual weakening caused by the metal oxidation process resulting from prolonged exposure to moisture-laden air.

This highlights the importance of selecting appropriate materials that resist corrosion, such as stainless steel or titanium alloys, which can withstand humid conditions without degradation. This is one example of the many challenges when designing technical springs for high-humidity environments.

Factors to consider when designing technical springs for high-humidity environments

Technical springs are used in various industries, from electronics to aerospace and automotive. These industries require precision components that can withstand harsh operating conditions. For springs in high-humidity environments, designers must consider several factors to ensure they perform reliably over time.

Material selection: choosing materials that are resistant to corrosion and rust

The choice of materials is critical when designing technical springs for high-humidity environments. Materials that are not resistant to corrosion or rust will deteriorate quickly, compromising the performance of the spring. Stainless steel is a popular choice due to its excellent corrosion resistance properties, but it may not be suitable for extremely humid conditions where chloride ion concentration is high.

Alternatives such as titanium or nickel alloys may be more appropriate. Another important consideration is the material’s strength and durability.

Technical springs must withstand repeated compression and extension cycles without deforming or breaking down over time. The material must have sufficient strength and fatigue resistance properties to meet these requirements.

Coatings: applying coatings that protect against moisture and humidity

In addition to selecting appropriate materials, designers must also consider applying coatings that protect against moisture and humidity. Coatings such as zinc plating or anodizing can help prevent rust formation on metal parts exposed to humidity, while epoxy coatings can provide barrier protection against moisture ingress. The choice of the coating depends on the type of spring being designed, with some coatings requiring additional processing steps such as curing times or baking temperatures before they achieve their full protective properties.

Design considerations: designing springs with features that prevent moisture buildup or allow for easy drainage

The design of technical springs for use in high-humidity environments should also consider features that prevent moisture buildup or allow for easy drainage. Springs with closed ends or tight coil spacing may trap moisture inside, leading to corrosion and rust formation. Designers can prevent this by incorporating open ends or wider spacing that allows air to flow freely through the spring, carrying moisture away.

Sometimes, it may be necessary to add drainage holes or channels to allow liquid to escape from the spring. Additionally, surface treatments such as shot peening can create a textured surface that promotes water droplet runoff, reducing the chances of moisture buildup on the spring’s surface.

Types of Technical Springs commonly used in High-Humidity Environments

Technical springs are a vital component in various industries where they serve diverse applications. When designing technical springs for high-humidity environments, several types of springs exist from which to choose. The following are some of the most common technical springs used in high-humidity environments:

Stainless Steel Springs: Their Corrosion-Resistant Properties Make Them Ideal for Humid Conditions

Stainless steel springs are among the most common technical springs used in high-humidity environments due to their corrosion-resistant properties. These springs offer excellent resistance against environmental factors leading to rust and corrosion.

They also exhibit excellent strength and durability, making them ideal for harsh conditions. Stainless steel is an alloy containing chromium, responsible for its corrosion resistance.

Depending on the grade used, stainless steel can have varying levels of resistance to humidity and other environmental factors. For instance, austenitic stainless steel with high nickel content offers better resistance than martensitic stainless steel.

Plastic Springs: Lightweight and Resistant to Moisture, these are Often Used in Electrical Applications

Plastic springs are an alternative option for technical spring applications that require lightweight components with good moisture resistance. They are often used in electrical applications where metal springs pose a risk of electrical conductivity.

Plastic materials such as nylon and PEEK (polyether ether ketone) exhibit excellent mechanical properties such as elasticity and flexibility while also being resistant to moisture damage. In addition, plastic materials do not corrode or rust like metals, making them ideal for humid conditions.

Titanium Springs: Strong, Lightweight, and Corrosion-Resistant-These are Ideal for Harsh Environments

Titanium is a lightweight material with incredible strength that makes it ideal for use in harsh environments. It also has excellent corrosion resistance, making it an ideal material for technical spring applications in high-humidity environments.

Titanium springs also offer good mechanical properties such as elasticity and flexibility while being lightweight and durable. They are often used in marine, aerospace, and chemical industries where their strength and corrosion resistance are essential to maintain performance over time.

Choosing the right material is crucial when designing technical springs for high-humidity environments to ensure optimal performance and longevity. Stainless steel springs offer excellent corrosion resistance, plastic springs provide good moisture resistance, and titanium springs have both strength and corrosion-resistant properties ideal for harsh conditions.

Testing and Quality Control Measures

Importance of Testing Prototypes under Simulated High-Humidity Conditions

Testing prototypes under simulated high-humidity conditions ensures that technical springs perform as expected in real-world environments. This testing helps identify any design, materials, or coatings weaknesses that might not be evident during normal testing procedures.

Simulated high-humidity testing involves subjecting the technical springs to an environment with elevated humidity and moisture levels, often in a controlled laboratory setting. The testing process typically involves exposing the springs to high moisture levels over an extended period and monitoring their performance throughout the test.

This simulation mimics the harsh conditions that technical springs may encounter during their use in humid environments such as marine applications or industrial settings with high levels of moisture. By conducting tests under these conditions, designers can gain confidence that their technical spring designs are robust enough to withstand harsh environmental factors and maintain peak performance.

Quality Control Measures to Ensure Consistent Performance Over Time

Quality control measures are implemented during manufacturing to ensure that each spring meets specific performance criteria and standards. These measures include material selection, proper coating application techniques, and thorough inspection procedures.

The first step towards quality control is using high-quality materials resistant to rust and corrosion when designing springs for humid environments. As mentioned earlier, stainless steel or titanium alloys are commonly used due to their excellent corrosion resistance properties.

Coating application techniques play a critical role in protecting against humidity. Coatings such as zinc plating or powder coating protect against rust formation by creating a barrier between metal surfaces and moisture.

Thorough inspection procedures must be followed at various stages of production to maintain consistent quality standards over time. Inspections should include verifying dimensional accuracy, load capacity tests for functionality analysis, and torsion checks for torque resistance analysis, among other tests depending on the specific spring design.

By implementing these quality control measures, designers and manufacturers can ensure that their technical springs remain reliable even under the harshest environmental conditions. Proper design, materials selection, coating application, testing, and quality control measures will produce high-quality technical springs capable of withstanding high-humidity environments.

Case Studies

Examples of Successful Technical Spring Designs for High-Humidity Environments

Let’s look at some successful examples to demonstrate the importance of proper spring design for high-humidity environments. One such example is a spring used in marine equipment constantly exposed to saltwater and high humidity levels. The designers chose a titanium spring due to its strength, lightweight nature, and corrosion resistance.

Additionally, the design included drainage features to prevent moisture buildup. After several years of use in this harsh environment, the spring showed minimal signs of corrosion and maintained its performance.

Another example is a plastic spring used in electrical equipment in areas with high humidity. The plastic’s lightweight nature and moisture-resistant properties make it an ideal material for these applications.

However, designing plastic springs can be challenging due to their tendency to deform over time under constant load. In this case, the designers used multiple smaller springs instead of one large spring to distribute the load and prevent deformation.

Lessons Learned from Failed Designs

Unfortunately, not all technical spring designs for high-humidity environments are successful. A common failure point is a corrosion or rust caused by prolonged exposure to moisture.

One example is a stainless steel spring used in an outdoor application exposed to daily rain and humidity. While stainless steel is known for its corrosion-resistant properties, it was not enough to withstand years of constant exposure without additional coatings or features designed to protect against moisture.

Another potential issue with technical springs in high-humidity environments is deformation over time due to changes in temperature and climate conditions. An example is a titanium spring used in an industrial application where temperatures fluctuate drastically throughout the day.

The titanium material performed well in terms of corrosion resistance but failed due to deformation over time caused by constant changes in temperature. These case studies highlight the importance of considering all factors when designing technical springs for high-humidity environments, including material selection, design features, coatings, and testing under simulated high-humidity conditions.


Designing technical springs for high-humidity environments requires careful consideration of material selection, coatings, and design features. Manufacturers can create reliable products that perform consistently over time by selecting materials resistant to corrosion and rust, applying appropriate coatings, and designing springs with features that prevent moisture buildup or allow for easy drainage.

Testing prototypes under simulated high-humidity conditions is also an important step in the design process to ensure consistent performance in the field. Quality control measures should be implemented to catch any issues before products are shipped to customers.

Proper spring design is particularly important in industries where failure can have serious consequences. For example, a malfunctioning spring in medical equipment could mean the difference between life and death for a patient.

Similarly, failures in aerospace or military applications can have catastrophic consequences. Manufacturers can avoid costly recalls or lawsuits and build trust with their customers by investing time and resources into proper spring design for high-humidity environments.

As our world becomes more reliant on technology and automation, the need for reliable technical springs will only grow. With proper design considerations considered, these essential components can perform effectively in even the harshest conditions.

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