What is the difference between zinc-galvanized and oil-tempered torsion springs?
If you’ve never had your garage torsion springs replaced, you’re probably at a loss on how to choose between zinc-galvanized and oil-tempered springs. Read on to discover some advantages and drawbacks of both torsion spring types.
Oil-tempered torsion springs
Named after the strengthening process that these springs undergo, oil-tempered torsion springs can be found on the vast majority of garage doors. The springs are strengthened during the oil-tempering procedure in which the cold-drawn wire of the spring is heated and then quenched in oil. The spring is then heated once again but to a temperature that is slightly lower in order to temper the metal and improve the tensile strength and resistance of the spring.
Thanks to their low costs and availability, oil-tempered springs have been the most popular option for garage doors for a while. Here are some more advantages of oil-tempered torsion springs:
- Durable. Oil-tempered torsion springs can withstand extremely heavy use thanks to their exceptional durability.
- Affordable. The manufacturing process of oil-tempered torsion springs involves cheaper materials and is less complex than that of zinc-galvanized springs. This means that this torsion spring option tends to cost less.
- Better tensile strength. Oil-tempered torsion springs maintain their tensile strength far longer than their zinc-galvanized counterpart. Because of this, oil-tempered springs rarely need to be adjusted unless they are defective or at the end of their lifespan.
Unfortunately, oil-tempered springs have their drawbacks too:
- No protection against rust. The fact that oil-tempered springs offer no rust protection is possibly their biggest disadvantage. Luckily, you can use lubricant to protect the spring against corrosion and premature failure
- Unappealing appearance. This type of torsion spring is simple looking, flat, and black. If appearance is important to you, then zinc-galvanized torsion springs may be the better option.
- Require protective gloves for installation. Your hands are bound to get dirty when installing oil-tempered torsion springs because of the film residue that remains on the springs after the oil-tempering procedure.
Zinc-galvanized torsion springs
While not as popular as oil-tempered torsion springs, zinc-galvanized springs are also a viable option for your garage door. Their durability and strength are increased in a hot-dip galvanization procedure which involves immersing the spring in molten zinc at an extremely high temperature. Once removed from the vat, the pure zinc in the spring is transformed into zinc oxide when exposed to oxygen, and into zinc carbonate after exposure to carbon dioxide.
The advantages of zinc-galvanized torsion springs include:
- Great rust protection. Zinc-galvanized torsion springs are known for their exceptional resistance to corrosion. Because of this quality, zinc-galvanized springs have longer lifespans than oil-tempered torsion springs.
- Aesthetically pleasing. This type of pring is shiny and pleasant looking, so take that into account if you care about the appearance of your garage.
- Cleaner installation. Zinc-galvanization process leaves no residue on the springs meaning that you won’t get your hands dirty when handling zinc-galvanized springs.
However, zinc-galvanized springs also have several disadvantages, such as:
- More noise. Zinc-galvanized springs tend to be more noisy during operation so keep that in mind if you prefer your garage door to open quietly.
- Lower tensile strength. Unfortunately, these springs typically lose some of their tensile strength after some time. This means that they will require adjustments in order to stay perfectly functional.
- Expensive. Zinc-galvanized springs tend to cost more than oil-tempered springs.
All pros and cons considered, zinc-galvanized torsion springs are the better choice if you live in a more humid climate in which rust may be a significant issue. However, if you are looking for a cheaper but long-lasting option that won’t need any adjustments, then oil-tempered torsion springs would be the better match for you.