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Thread: PLEASE HELP - How is this steel part of a knee brace manufactured?

  1. #1
    Associate Engineer
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    PLEASE HELP - How is this steel part of a knee brace manufactured?

    No exaggeration, I have contacted just about every major spring and wire company in the country and nobody can tell me how this is made.

    It comes from the knee "stays" or "stabilizers" on a knee brace. There are a ton of companies now that make them, like Futuro and ACE, but also a bunch of smaller companies on Amazon do too. It's made of steel or aluminum and is two wires coiled together and heat treated to be bouncy and have "memory".

    The braces range in price anywhere from $8.95 all the way up to $40 and they are almost always equipped with 2 of the stabilizers on each side. Which would mean that even if you completely ignore the company's profit margin, the cost of the material of the brace, the cost to assemble the brace, and the packaging, the stabilizers cannot be possibly more than $2.25/piece ($8.95 divided by 4 stabilizers per knee brace). So I know that it can be made very cheaply.

    I sent some of the companies I contacted a sample of one of the stabilizers and a few said they would need ten's of thousands of dollars to do "research and development" on it and even then they could probably only get it down to about $5/stabilizer.

    I'm fairly confident that it's made in China, so maybe somebody knows something (?). I don't know, I'm desperate.

    Please, please, please someone take a look at this and help me. If you need more references, check out these similar products that have the same feature:
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  2. #2
    Administrator Kelly Bramble's Avatar
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    It is first manufactured as a spring that is then rolled flat...
    Tell me and I forget. Teach me and I remember. Involve me and I learn.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kelly Bramble View Post
    It is first manufactured as a spring that is then rolled flat...
    Using what kind of process? I mean it seems like it would be easy enough to just roll it out, but if you look at the pictures, it's not just one spring, it's actually two. They're like intertwined for support and they really don't pull apart. Do you think you might have any details on the process?

  4. #4
    Administrator Kelly Bramble's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by taylorshipley23 View Post
    Using what kind of process? I mean it seems like it would be easy enough to just roll it out, but if you look at the pictures, it's not just one spring, it's actually two. They're like intertwined for support and they really don't pull apart. Do you think you might have any details on the process?
    It's just two spiral springs overlapped or meshed on each other then rolled to flatten..
    Tell me and I forget. Teach me and I remember. Involve me and I learn.

  5. #5
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    I agree with Kelly and suspect the wires are coiled, interlaced and flattened before heat treating for hardening.

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