Spring-Design of Compression Springs, Extension Springs, Torsion Springs, and Flat Springs
Spring-design is sometimes called a “Black Art”. I guess that’s because anybody that has been “hands on” in this industry for any length of time knows that-
- all the math
- all the formulas
- all the charts
- all the research
- all the programs
And your design is still only a good approximation of what may happen. Oh, it can get you close, but you are still going to be at the mercy of a lot of variables, such as-
- the consistency and quality of the raw material being used
- the quality of the machine used for manufacture
- the ability of the technician working on the machine
- the set-up technique used and the quality of the tools
- the consistency of any secondary operations such as stress relieving, grinding, plating
All of the above and many more play a major role in what comes out as your end product. Look for a quality spring manufacturer to work with you in completing your design. It has been my experience that sometimes what appears to be impossible on paper can actually be made if you work with a spring manufacturer that knows their stuff. What’s that old saying? ”You get what you pay for?”
What we are going to look at here are the nuts and bolts of what it takes to properly design a good compression spring, extension spring and torsion spring.
We will even briefly cover
I know what you’re thinking. “Why bother? I can just go out and buy a spring rate calculator or purchase some computer software that does it all for me.”
Your are right. You can even go to a web site like
and get an easy way to calculate simple compression springs.
That may be so, but, isn’t it better to know the “what’s and whys” of where the computer is getting its spring-design? I strongly suggest you at least read through the information presented here.
Familiarize yourself with the terminology. Learn about the characteristics and design items that are important to consider when creating your design. Even the best computer programs out there can’t cover all the variables that come into play.
For those tough designs (and they are becoming more and more prevalent) it is good to know how to tweak things by hand.
As I said earlier, we are concentrating here on compression springs, torsion springs, extension springs, and
If you are working with other spring types you can find their spring-design info by going to this web page -
Spring Types: From Compression to Belleville to Garter Springs.
A proper spring-design involves more than just plugging numbers into a formula. You must also look at operating stresses and manufacture and assembly considerations.
There are other special design characteristics to consider such as resonance, vibration damping and isolation, and special applications that may require springs in combination.
Now it's time to click on this link here to get more detail on compression spring design-
Compression Spring Design and Special Considerations
After reading that page you will find a link at the bottom taking you to a page providing
Helical Compression Spring Design Techniques
that will give you a logic diagram and some design examples to follow.
If you are looking at torsion springs right now then you will want to look at our page on
Torsion Springs and Their Design Formulas.
This is a good basic introduction to how torsion springs work and why. This page will then take you to our example page
Torsion Spring Design Techniques.
This page puts the formulas to use and the logic flow chart gives you a good example of the proper thought process.
You can also go here to get more detail on flat spring design-
Flat Springs: Cantilever and Simple Beam
Here are some great auxilliary pages to be used with all your designs-
Choice of Operating Stress in Spring Designs
Design for Manufacture and Assembly
Stay tuned for updated information related to spring design of compression springs, extension springs, torsion springs, and flat springs. Our team and visitors to spring-makers-resource.net will be contributing.
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