Compression Springs and Other Spring Types
Compression springs? What about any type of spring? How many people really know anything about them?
Don't you love it when somebody asks you what you do, and you say, "I'm a spring maker". Then you get that strange look like you spoke in a foreign language. So, you proceed to explain that springs are in nearly every technological advance of modern man.
First of all, all wire products are not springs. Springs are based on Hooke's law, "deflection is proportional to load". They are a fundamental mechanical component that form the basis of many mechanical systems. Compression springs or any spring can be defined as an elastic member (in most cases a piece of metal that stretches) which exerts a resisting force when its shape is changed.
In other words, the material it is made of stretches and comes back in place like a rubber band. When it is pushed, pulled, or twisted it fights back.
(Take part in our discussion on Hooke's Law in relation to spring design by
In general there are two main types of mechanical springs: wire springs
(including wire forms)
and flat springs. In these divisions there are millions of different types of springs. These are limited only by the inventiveness and experience of the springmaker and designer.
The common denominators are:
- the application of Hooke's law to the design and production of these various industrial springs
- they are made to customer specifications from materials with "spring-like qualities" commonly called
are what most people picture when they think of a spring.
This type is an
open coiled, helical spring
that offers resisitence to a compressive force. In other words it stores and exerts energy in a "push" mode.
Other types of springs that work in a "push" or compressive force are
belleville springs and other types of special spring washers,
cantilever or simple beam.
Tapered, conical, barrel, hourglass, or variable pitch springs are specialized varieties of the conventional helical compression spring.
A spring that works in a twisting motion is formally called a
Take a look at your ordinary spring hinge to see an example of this type of spring. Sometimes a torsion spring is used to rotate parts, or to cushion the shock of opening a part such as an oven door. Brush holder springs on motors and generators, springs in door locks, etc. are more examples.
rectangular shaped wire
is used for torsion springs. You can find this in door checks, automobile starters, clutch springs and similar applications.
One type of spring that works in a twisting motion most people would not think of as a spring. Technically it is. The simple
It's just a piece of round wire or rectangular material that gets twisted.
More examples of torsion springs are spiral type springs such as
hairsprings, brush srpings, and power or clock springs.
are closed coiled helical springs that offer resistance to a pulling force. These are easily compared to a rubber band. They work in the opposite direction of a compression spring.
They are made from
round or rectangular shaped wire
with the coils in close contact with each other. Normally, but not always the case, there is some type of loop formed on each end.
In addition to helical extension springs other types of springs that work the same way are the
drawbar and constant force spring,
I wish I knew where the term garter spring came from. Many times you will hear this spring type called "oil seal spring". That sounds a little more professional, doesn't it? This type works with radial pressure in a pull or push motion.
Imagine a spring type bracelet that expands as you slide it over your hand then snaps back tight around your wrist. Thats a garter spring. I actually made a bunch of these for someone who was selling them as bracelets. More proof that springs are everywhere!
There are 3 other spring styles I'd like to mention - garage door springs, box springs, and leaf springs. These are actually specialized forms of the various spring types above. I mention these separately because there are spring makers who specialize in making just these types.
Garage door springs work like a torsion spring or an extension spring.
Box springs are bedspring consisting of a cloth-covered frame containing rows of coil springs. These can be compression or torsion springs.
Leaf springs are one of the oldest forms of a spring application, dating back to medieval times. These are part of the flat spring group.
Stay tuned for updated information related to compression springs and other spring types. Our team and visitors to spring-makers-resource.net will be contributing.
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