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When selecting wire for mechanical applications there are four classifications from which to choose a specific material or alloy. They are: nickel based lockwires, carbon steels, stainless steels and superalloys. A three-part evaluation procedure is recommended: 1) initial screening based on temperature and corrosion requirements; 2) analysis of physical properties; and 3) final screening on the basis of specific properties, material, and forming costs.

Material Material Characteristics
#302 Stainless Steel Most widely used stainless steel spring material due to its excellent combination of physical properties and corrosion resistance.
#304 Stainless Steel Similar to Type 302 except for the slightly lower carbon and higher nickel, which results in a more ductile, lower tensile alloy in the annealed condition.  The major use of this alloy is in the annealed and 1/4 hard wire products such as cold heading wire, weaving, or screen wire, and lockwire.
#316 Stainless Steel Molybdenum gives this material high creep strength at elevated temperatures and excellent corrosion resistance. (generally better then Types 302, 304, and 321.) Especially resistant to pit-type corrosion.
#321 Stainless Steel Good where welding is used in fabrication or where heat is encountered as a service condition. Stabilized with titanium to prevent sensitization. (Carbide precipitation and intergranular corrosion.)
17-7 PH Corrosion resistance comparable to Type 302 with physical properties comparable to music wire. Particularly useful where a compact, corrosion resistant spring is required. Considerably better than Type 302 for springs operating up to 600F.
Inconel* 600 Resists corrosion and oxidation to 2150F. Provides springs with high resistance to corrosion and heat up to 750F. Tough and ductile down to -310F; is nonmagnetic, easily fabricated and welded. Used for structural parts, cathode ray tube spiders, thyratron grids, sheathing, tube supports, spark plug electrodes.
Inconel* X-750 Age hardenable, nonmagnetic, corrosion and oxidation resistant; high creep-rupture strength 10 1300F. Heavy cold working develops tensile strengths of 290,000 psi. Stays tough and ductile to -423F. Resists chloride-ion stress-corrosion cracking. For springs operating to 1200F and tube structural parts.
Monel* 400 This material is noted for its toughness over a considerable range of temperatures, and has excellent resistance to many corrosive environments. Monel 400 can be hardened only by cold-working. It is useful at temperatures up to 1050F, and has very good mechanical properties at temperatures below zero. Melting point is 2370-2460F.
Music Spring Music spring wire is high carbon steel of uniform chemical analysis. This wire is drawn within rigid tensile, smoothness, and roundness requirements and although very high in tensile strength, must be capable of wrapping around itself without showing signs of cracking or unevenness.

*Registered trademark of Inco family of companies
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