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THE SULCATED SPRING: THE DEVELOPMENT OF AN ADVANCED RESIN FIBRE COMPOSITE -Z- SHAPED REPLACEMENT FOR THE TRADITIONAL STEEL COIL SPRING

Objective


Work has been performed on the development of an advanced resin fibre composite Z-shaped replacement for the traditional steel coil spring, as follows:
review of production methods for sulcated spring manufacture;
evaluation of materials to determine the optimum cost performance combination;
prototype sulcated spring manufacture and testing;
quantification of the practical design and manufacturing restrictions;
creation of a database on sulcated springs including performance data and design limitations;
incorporation of derived equations and methodologies into the computer aided design (CAD) program to model sulcated spring behaviour;
application of finite element analysis to analyse design potential for optimum cost performance;
development of a CAD program to produce graphical designs of sulcated springs and spring production moulds;
an investigation into developing a full computer aided design/computer aided manufacture (CAD/CAM) system.

The following results have been achieved from this work:
improved product quality and consistency;
reduced mould manufacturing costs and curing time;
establishing a range of materials of optimum cost performance;
demonstration of the performance of sulcated springs under test conditions;
criteria for sulcated spring design, tooling and manufacture;
information on stress analysis and displacement behaviour under various load conditions using finite element analysis;
graphical displays of sulcated springs and associated mould tools;
statistical validation of results to determine the accuracy of theoretically predicted results;
potential applications;
an insight into the subsequent development of a full CAD/CAM system.
- THE SULCATED SPRING MANUFACTURED FROM A RESIN/FIBRE COMPOSITE MATERIAL IS AN INNOVATIVE CONCEPT FOR WHICH FURTHER RESEARCH IS REQUIRED. THE MAIN AIM OF THIS PROGRAMME IS TO GENERATE THE INFORMATION REQUIRED TO MARKET SULCATED SPRINGS AS A REPLACEMENT FOR CONVENTIONAL HELICAL STEEL SPRINGS.

- THE DESIGN OF SULCATED SPRINGS FOR SPECIFIC APPLICATIONS WILL BE GREATLY FACILITATED BY THE DEVELOPMENT OF A COMPUTER AIDED DESIGN (CAD) PROGRAMME WHICH WILL INCORPORATE SPRING PERFORMANCE DATA GENERATED DURING THE RESEARCH. THE RAPID CONVERSION OF A DESIGN INTO A PROTOTYPE SPRING WILL BE NECESSARY, AND THIS PROCEDURE WILL BE SPEEDED UP BY DEVELOPING SOFTWARE TO INTEGRATE THE DRAWING OF SPRING PRODUCTION MOULDS REQUIRED WITH THE CAD PROGRAMME.

- THE SULCATED SPRING PRODUCTION PROCESS ROUTE AND COMPOSITE MATERIALS USED WILL BE INVESTIGATED TO ESTABLISH THE OPTIMUM COST-PERFORMANCE COMBINATIONS.
- THE RESULT OF THIS RESEARCH WILL PROVIDE THE FRAMEWORK OF DATA REQUIRED TO EXPLOIT THE KNOWN TECHNICAL ADVANTAGES OF COMPOSITE SULCATED SPRINGS, THAT IS, LOWER WEIGHT, VERY LOW NOISE TRANSMISSION AND CORROSION RESISTANCE.

Funding Scheme

CSC - Cost-sharing contracts

Coordinator

Disc Computer Services Ltd
Address
George Street
B70 6NA West Bromwich
United Kingdom

Participants (3)

INSTITUTE OF SPRING TECHNOLOGY LTD
United Kingdom
Address
Henry Street
S3 7EQ Sheffield
Mica and Micanite Ltd.
Ireland
Address

33 Cork
Société d'Exploitation des Etablissements Martin et Prunier
France
Address
7 Rue Lesage
75020 Paris