Flat springs are flat strips of material that, when deflected by an external load, store and release energy. Flat springs are actually small, stamped metal components that function like a spring by controlling deflection within small or restricted spaces. Flat springs are usually manufactured from high carbon spring steel, nickel-silver, high-nickel alloys, stainless steel, and phosphor-bronze and beryllium-copper combinations. A flat spring can also function as a spacer or ground.
Flat springs come in a variety of configurations depending on the application. They include leaf springs and flat coil springs. A leaf spring is an important component in a suspension, such as in a car or other vehicle, where it can provide stability and help minimize wear and tear on other parts. Flat coil springs are also used in automotive applications.
Leaf springs are flat springs made out of individual layers or leaves of metal. Leaf springs are often used in automotive design and repair, including on drive or steering axles. Leaf springs can be constructed of high alloy spring steel or lighter weight materials such as low carbon steel. A leaf spring comes in three basic types: mono-leaf, multi-leaf and parabolic springs. Mono-leaf springs consist of one steel plate uniformly tapered from the center to each end of the spring. A multi-leaf spring consists of stacks of metal of diminishing lengths attached to each other by a bolt through the center. Parabolic springs consist of stacked layers of tapered leaves. These flat springs are attached to the vehicle through a spring eye on either end of the spring.
Flat coil springs are flat springs used with a counterweight to control the action of valves, such as in a vehicle exhaust system. A flat coil spring is wound into a specific configuration to absorb shock or provide tension. Flat coil springs are also used in seating to provide support. Flat spring manufacturers are located across the United States and around the world.