Mechanical springs, including leaf springs, coil springs, compression springs, and volute springs, typically denote elastic devices that preserve mechanical potential energy following deformation. Extension, torsion, torsion, and compression are some ways in which the devices get deformed.
A mechanical device ordinarily transforms its shape when an external force is applied and resumes its normal shape when the force is removed. The energy often stored in the spring is recoverable when the spring assumes its normal shape.
The mechanical springs play a critical role in engineering and are often found in most engineering products. As denoted by Hooke’s Law, the force required for the compression and extension of springs has a directly proportional correlation to the displacement.
Hooke’s law outlines that F = -kX , where F is the force that is applied to the spring. X is the displacement that occurs to the spring (the negative value denoting that the restoring force is opposite of the direction. K refers to the spring constant and depends on the spring type.
Types of Mechanical Springs
1. Compression Springs
The compression springs are open-coil helical springs that have a regular coiled diameter. They also characteristically contain variable shapes that exhibit resistance to axial compression. The springs are utilized in various applications ranging from automobile engines to stamping presses and lawnmowers.
Further, they are also used in cell phones, medical devices, sensitive instrumentation gadgets, and electronics, among others. Their typical use is in places where push-button are essential.
2. Extension Springs
These springs are closed coil helical springs that contrast the compression springs. They play a critical role in tension creation, energy storage, and energy utilization to return the spring to its original shape.
They exhibit this role by absorbing energy and storing it while at the same time resisting any pulling force. They are often connected to other components on both ends and try to bring them together in cases of separation.
Metal extension springs are often applied in automotive interiors and exteriors, trampolines, vice-grip pliers, agricultural machinery, washing machines, carburetors, and garage door assembly, among numerous other applications. They exist in diverse sizes, making them suitable for use in small medical devices to large off-road machinery brake springs, among others.
3. Torsion Springs
These springs are typically attached to two different components with two ends. The attachment is crucial in enabling the two components to remain apart from a specified angle. They are typically said to be helical springs with a rotating force or torque. They can be susceptible to bending stress instead of torsional stress.
They can store and release rotational energy and maintain a device in a place statically, a capacity they drive when kept in a position where their legs are deflecting along the body centerline axis. They have the power to provide resistance that enables twisting and rotational force. Engineers can mold them to function in a clockwise or counterclockwise spin and determine the wind direction.
Their applications include counterbalances, clipboards, hinges, garage doors, and swing-down tailgates. They exist in various sizes, from microscopic to massive torsion springs.
4. Constant Force Springs
These have some differences from the others highlighted above since they do not follow Hooke’s Law. Unlike the others, which exert a proportionate force, the constant force springs exert a nearly constant force. They are made from a thin sheet metal wound in a firm manner around a drum.
These springs play a critical role in applications requiring a constant load. Some applications where they are vital include door closers, tool head returns, gym equipment, toys, space vehicles, and appliances, among others.
5. Laminated or Leaf Spring
These are arc-shaped springs. They are made of metal strips one after another and are held together using a clamp, nut, or bolt. These springs have a wide usage as the suspension system of commercial vehicles such as trucks and buses. They have massive strength to withstand large forces in small areas. They are made from Carbon epoxy, Graphite epoxy, and Steel.
6. Special Purpose Springs
These springs are not widely used unless, in some instances, such as in carburetors, toys, trampolines, and washing devices, the extension spring is applied. Some special purposes springs include but are not limited to grater spring, gas, and air spring.
Engineers highlight that it is important to understand the application for every kind of spring before using it on any device. Using a spring for the wrong application may break its performance. When selecting the material to use with a spring, it is vital to consider factors such as the operating temperature, spring qualities required, and corrosion resistance requirements, among others. Cotact