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All concerns & questions regarding composite springs should be cleared up in the following letter which was recently received by me and written by Mr. Joe Bursel, President of Composite Springs Inc., dated 20th February 1997.
"We do not use carbon fibers in our springs, we use fiberglass. The reason for doing so, other than cost, is that fiberglass is much more forgiving than carbon fibers in a composite structure. This is due to the stress/strain properties of the two materials. Without getting mired in a technical discussion, suffice it is to say that a fiberglass composite (assuming the samae matrix composition) will be much more damage tolerant. In over 13 years of use on our springs in Corvettes and Camaros, we have never experienced a failure due to stone hits or due to environmental conditions and we have sold our composite springs from Alaska to Saudi Arabia.
This is not to imply that our compositie springs are indestructible. We have experienced some spring failures due to improper installation, towing the disabled vehicle by using the spring as an attachment point (subjects the spring to torsional forces it is not designed to withstand in normal use), and heat failure. Failure due to heat, however, is not from ambient conditions but due to modified exhaust systems which place exhaust pipes in close proximity to the spring.
Our experience would dictate that protection from exhaust heat and proper installation and use are far more important than concerns about road debris or ambient temperatures."
Information supplied by Doug Jackson