NPC Springs

Ultrastrength Homogeneous Nanostructured Springs

Operating Factories

Shareholders in Portfolio Company 
RUSNANO, Izhmash, BANK URALSIB

Industry Sector 
Nanomaterials

Production Location 
Izhevsk, Republic of Udmurtia
Jobs to be created: 200

Investment Started:  2009

Total Budget

1.11  bln rubles
Co-investment by RUSNANO
0.83  bln rubles

SpringsAt the base of new technology for production of ultrastrength springs lies a process of hot winding that combines the optimal level of heating, degree of deformation during winding, and cooling-heating regime following each turn of the spring. As a result of these operations, nanosized substructures form, providing the products with ultrastrength properties.

The technology makes it possible to produce springs whose service life is several times longer, whose stress limit is at least doubled, whose capacity at low temperatures is greater, and whose compression and coil impingement are eliminated.

Use of the new springs for railway transport, for example, will reduce substantially the cost of repairs and maintenance for rolling stock and increase the volume of cargo transported by increasing the load on the car axle. By some estimates, the gain from equipping the entire fleet of rolling stock, one million cars, with new springs in Russia would equal four billion rubles.

Areas of application

  • Rail transport
  • Automotive industry
  • Elevator manufacturing
  • Power industry
  • Agricultural and road machinery manufacturing

Competitive advantages

  • Signifi cantly higher resistance to relaxation and longer service life without increasing raw materials costs
  • 30 percent to 40 percent increase of allowable working tensions

Springs—a resilient element designed to dampen mechanical energy. A spring’s compression is tailored to reducing length under pressure.

Products from NPC Pruzhina—cylindrical, ultrastrength springs compressed to 1,600 mm with feed bars ranging from 8 mm to 70 mm. This range is sufficient to accommodate virtually all springs for railway transport, automobiles, agricultural equipment, oil and gas pipelines, and other special-purpose applications.

Ultrastrenght Springs

The springs produced within the project have very high parameters of durability, longevity, and geometric precision, which are achieved through a unique manufacturing technology.

The ultrastrength springs are produced with a hot winding process that is the only means of winding large-diameter wire for, for example, railway rolling stock.

The manufacturing technology is based on the high-temperature thermo-mechanical properties of steel. During production of the springs, additional small deformations are made that give nanosized substructures to the metal—and that raises the spring’s durability characteristics.

Ultrastrength Springs: Production Technology

Hot winding used to manufacture springs for railway rolling stock, agricultural machinery, and other equipment.

Ultrastrength Springs: Production Technology

Nanosubstructures with small-angle marginsDistinguishing technical characteristics:

  • Structure of the steel is more homogenous, greater dislocation density, nanosized subgrains
  • Compared with usual processing, smaller sized, more evenly distributed particles of carbide-cementite
  • Within individual grains are nanosubstructures with small-angle margins
  • Average size of substructure elements of the ferrite matrix, 20 nm to 40 nm with the entire interval ranging from 20 nm to 100 nm

These special features facilitate the creation of unique springs with characteristics that cannot be found anywhere else in the world.

The springs are made of high-carbon and alloyed steels.

Independent tests at the All-Russian Railway Research Institute’s Ural Branch comparing these springs to ordinary springs have shown that ultrastrength springs produced with this patented technology have the following characteristics:

  • Number of cycles before breakdown increased no less than tenfold
  • Imperviousness to relaxation increased fivefold or greater
  • Allowable working stress greater by 35%–40%