Spring steel

Spring steel is a name given to a wide range of steels[1] used in the manufacture of springs, prominently in automotive and industrial suspension applications. These steels are generally low-alloy manganese, medium-carbon steel or high-carbon steel with a very high yield strength. This allows objects made of spring steel to return to their original shape despite significant deflection or twisting.


Many grades of steel can be hardened and tempered to suit application as a spring; however, some steels exhibit more desirable characteristics for spring applications.

Common spring steel grades
SAE grade
(ASTM grade)
Composition Yield strength Hardness (HRC) Comments
Typical Maximum
1070 0.65-0.75% C, 0.60-0.90% Mn, max .050% S, max .040% P Normally supplied annealed 165vpn 180vpn CS70, CK67, C70E
1074/1075[2] 0.70–0.80% C, 0.50–0.80% Mn, max. 0.030% P, max. 0.035% S[3] 62–78 ksi (430–530 MPa)[4] 44–50[5] 50 Scaleless blue,or Polished Bright
1080 (A228) 0.7–1.0% C, 0.2–0.6% Mn, 0.1–0.3% Si[6] Piano wire, music wire, springs, clutch discs
1095 (A684)[2] 0.90–1.03% C, 0.30–0.50% Mn, max. 0.030% P, max. 0.035% S[7] 60–75 ksi (413–517 MPa), annealed 48–51[5] 59 Blue, or polished bright spring steel
5160 (A689)[8] 0.55–0.65% C, 0.75–1.00% Mn, 0.70–0.90% Cr[9] 97 ksi (669 MPa) 63 Chrome-silicon spring steel; fatigue-resistant
50CrV4 (EN 10277) 0.47–0.55% C, max. 1.10% Mn, 0.90–1.20% Cr, 0.10–0.20% V, max. 0.40% Si 1200 MPa Old British 735 H1steel, SAE 6150, 735A51
9255 0.50–0.60% C, 0.70–0.95% Mn, 1.80–2.20% Si[9]
301 spring-tempered
stainless steel[10]
0.08–0.15% C, max. 2.00% Mn, 16.00–18.00% Cr, 6.00–8.00% Ni[9] 147 ksi (1014 MPa) 42 Equivalents EN 10088-2 1.4310, X10CrNi18-8
A more comprehensive range of spring grades can be found here[11]


  • Applications include piano wire (also known as[12] music wire) such as ASTM A228 (0.80–0.95% carbon), spring clamps, antennas, springs, and vehicle coil springs, leaf springs, and s-tines.
  • Spring steel is also commonly used in the manufacture of metal swords for stage combat due to its resistance to bending, snapping or shattering.
  • Spring steel is one of the most popular materials used in the fabrication of lockpicks due to its pliability and resilience.
  • Tubular spring steel is used in the landing gear of some small aircraft due to its ability to absorb the impact of landing.
  • It is also commonly used in the making of knives, especially for the Nepalese kukri.
  • It is used in binder clips.
  • Used extensively in shims due to its resistance to deformation in low thicknesses.

See also


  1. Engineering.com (23 October 2006). "Springs".
  2. McMaster-Carr catalog (116th ed.), McMaster-Carr, p. 3630, retrieved 3 September 2010.
  3. "74-75 Carbon Spring Steel". Precision Steel Warehouse. Retrieved 5 December 2013.
  4. "SAE-AISI 1074 (G10740) Carbon Steel". MakeItFrom.com. Retrieved 21 August 2015.
  5. http://www.admiralsteel.com/pdf/catalog.pdf
  6. "ASTM A228 (SWP-A, K08500) Music Wire". MakeItFrom.com. Retrieved 21 August 2015.
  7. "95 Carbon Spring Steel". Precision Steel Warehouse. Retrieved 5 December 2013.
  8. McMaster-Carr catalog (116th ed.), McMaster-Carr, p. 3632, retrieved 3 September 2010.
  9. Oberg, Erik, and F D. Jones. Machinery's Handbook. 15th ed. New York: The Industrial Press, 1956. 1546–1551. Print.
  10. McMaster-Carr catalog (116th ed.), McMaster-Carr, p. 3662, retrieved 3 September 2010.
  11. "Steel Strip Resources".
  12. Oberg et al. 2000, p. 286.


  • Oberg, Erik; Franklin D. Jones; Holbrook L. Horton; Henry H. Ryffel (2000). Christopher J. McCauley; Riccardo Heald; Muhammed Iqbal Hussain (eds.). Machinery's Handbook (26th ed.). Ratnagiri: Industrial Press Inc. ISBN 0-8311-2635-3.
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