Everything you need to know about mechanical spring

Spring of different types are common material seen in applications in our daily life. It is an elastic object that stores mechanical energy. It’s of different kinds, designs and are used for various purposes. The term which is often refers to coil springs.

Conventional springs from resting position exert an opposing force when compressed or stretched. This happen without stiffness variability features. there is a proportion to its change in length.mechanical spring device

The rate of a spring or spring constant is change in force it exerts, divided by the change in the spring deflection. it means, the gradient of the force versus deflection curve. The compression of spring’s rate is expressed as the unit of force divided by distance, for instance or N/m or lbf/in.

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The inverse of spring rate is compliance. This means, if a spring has a rate of 10 N/mm, it has compliance of 0.1 mm/N. The stiffness or rate of springs in parallel is additive. The compliance of springs is in series.


Spring Material

Springs are produce from various kinds of elastic material. The most common of them is spring steel. Larger spring are made from annealed steel which are hardened after fabrication. While Small and thinning ones are wound from pre-hardened stock.

Non-ferrous metals like phosphor, bronze and titanium are also used. They’re good corrosion resistance making useful for parts requiring such. Beryllium copper is also used for spring making. It offers good electrical current to such application (it has low electrical resistance).

Springs Applications

The applications of springs are very wide, in fact, almost all application feature spring in them. below are the applications of springs in various field and items.

  • Automobile: in a vehicle different type of spring with good mechanical properties are used. Suspension parts such as the transmission, clutch etc. Find good use of leaf spring.
  • Lock mechanisms: it supports the movements of the lock parts.

Other applications of springs include:

Watches, jewelry, pens, spring mattresses, spring shoes, slinky, toy, spring reverb, airsoft gun, firearms etc.

Various types of spring:

Different types of springs are classified depending on the following:

  • Based on their shape.
  • How the load force is applied to them.

types of spring device

Types of Spring Based on shape

Machined spring: instead of coiling process, it is made on lathe and/or milling operation. A bar stock is machined and can be made of various load cases. The load may include, compression/extension, torsion etc.

Flat spring: is made of a flat spring steel.

Serpentine spring: is in shape of a zig-zag made of thick wire.

Garter spring: this coiled steel spring is connected at each end to create a circular shape.

Based on how the load force is applied to them:

Tension/extension spring: this spring type operate with a tension load. It stretches with the load is applied to it.

Compression spring: it works with a compression load. that is, it gets shorter when load is applied to it.

Torsion spring: the torsion spring is a torque or twisting force. The end of the spring rotates through an angle when the load is applied.

Constant spring; supported load remains the same throughout deflection cycle in this spring type.

Variable spring: the resistance of the coil to load changes during compression.

Variable stiffness spring: resistance of the coil to load can varied dynamically.

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Most common types of spring are:

Cantilever spring: the spring is fixed at one end.

Coil spring or helical spring: these spring types are made by winding a wire around a cylinder. It is of two types:

  • Tension or extension springs become longer under load. Their turns (loops) are normally touching in the uploading position.
  • Compression springs are designed to become shorter when loaded. Their turns are not touching in the unloaded position.
  • Hollow tubing spring is either extension spring or compression spring.

Volute spring: the coils are not forced against each other under compression. This is because a compression coil spring is in form of a cone.

Hairspring or balance spring: this spiral spring is used in watches, galvanometers etc.

Leaf spring: a flat spring used in vehicle suspensions, electrical switches, bows etc.

V-spring: is used in antique firearm mechanisms like wheellock, flintlock and percussion cap locks.

Other common types are:

Belleville washer or Belleville spring: is a disc shaped spring used to apply tension to bolts.

Constant-force spring: is a tightly rolled ribbon that exerts a nearly constant force as it is unrolled.

Gas spring: has a volume of compressed gas.

Ideal spring: is used in physic. It has no weight, mass or damping losses. The force exerted by the spring is proportional to the distance spring is stretched. Or compressed form its relaxed position.

Mainspring: is a spiral ribbon shaped spring used in clockwork mechanisms as a power store.

Negator spring: is a thin metal band slightly concave in cross-section. It adopts a flat cross-section when coiled, and it returns to its former curve when unrolled. This cause a constant force to be produce throughout the displacement.

Progressive rate coil springs: it’s a coil spring with a variable rate. It is achieved by having unequal pitch so the spring compressed one or more coils rests against its neighbor.

Rubber band: is a tension spring that stored energy when the material is stretched.

Spring washer: it’s used to apply constant tensile force along the axis of a fastener.

Wave spring: is made of flat wire and discs. Such spring include linear spring, shaped spring, washers and expanders.

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Advantages and disadvantages of mechanical springs


below are the benefits of a spring

  • Locking
  • Spring has good shock-absorbing ability
  • Latching
  • Holding
  • Easy to design
  • Cheaper to Produce
  • Produce a good cushioning effect


despite the advantages of spring device, one limitation still occur. below is that disadvantage of spring

  • it loses shape and stability as time goes on.

Below is the advantages and disadvantages of leaf springs:

leaf springs advantages and disadvantages

That’s for this article “understanding mechanical spring”. I hope the knowledge is attained, if so, kindly comment, share and recommend this site to other technical students. Thanks!

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