Extension springs are used in a wide variety of applications where a precise amount of force is required at a certain deflection. Extension springs are used to retract the aircraft landing gear, to tether equipment to oil rigs in offshore applications, and on Class 8 heavy trucks as hood-assist springs to safely hold the hood in place for engine maintenance. Other examples include specialized springs implanted in roadways or around secure buildings to create barriers to provide additional protection from possible outside threats.
Applications for extension springs include automotive interiors and exteriors, garage door assemblies, vise-grip pliers, carburetors, trampolines, washing devices, farm machinery, toys as well as thousands of other uses. This type of spring is available in a wide array of sizes and configurations, including very small springs for medical devices up to large brake springs for off-road machinery.
Compression Springs are open-coil helical springs wound or constructed to oppose compression along the axis of wind. Helical Compression is the most common metal spring configuration. These coil springs can work independently, though often assembled over a guide rod or fitted inside a hole. When you put a load on a compression coil spring, making it shorter, it pushes back against the load and tries to get back to its original length. Compression springs offer resistance to linear compressing forces (push) and are in fact one of the most efficient energy storage devices available.
Compression Springs are found in a wide variety of applications ranging from automotive engines and large stamping presses to major appliances and lawnmowers to medical devices, cell phones, electronics, and sensitive instrumentation devices. The most basic installation is anywhere requiring a push button. Conical type springs are generally used in applications requiring low solid height and increased resistance to surging.
Torsion springs are helical springs that exert a torque or rotary force. The ends of a torsion spring are attached to other components, and when those components rotate around the center of the spring, the spring tries to push them back to their original position. Although the name implies otherwise, torsion springs are subjected to bending stress rather than torsional stress. They can store and release angular energy or statically hold a mechanism in place by deflecting the legs about the body centerline axis.
A torsion spring is commonly used in clothes pins, clipboards, swing-down tailgates, and garage doors. Other application types include hinges, counterbalances, and lever returns. Sizes range from miniature, used in electronic devices, to large torsion springs used in chair control units. The load should be applied in the direction of the wind; unwinding from the free position is not recommended. As they wind up, a torsion spring will reduce in diameter and their body length becomes longer. This should be considered when design space is limited. Torsion Springs perform best when supported by a rod, which is also referred to as a mandrel. The engineer or designer should consider the effects of friction and arm deflection on the torque when working with a torsion spring.
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