Mechanical elements that extend or retract and return to an unloaded position; includes extension, compression, torsion, air and gas springs.
Air springs contain a column of air in an elastomeric bellow or sleeve to provide suspension, isolation, or actuation. Commonly found in vehicle suspension systems, perhaps in conjunction with a coil spring, they are also used to insulate vibration in machinery and as linear or angular actuators.
Compression springs are the most recognizable of spring and are intended to oppose compaction in the direction of the axis. The spring is extended at rest, shorten and store energy when a load is applied, and is one most efficient energy storage devices available. Traditionally, they are wound and uniform in pitch and diameter, but these traits vary considerably today.
Constant force springs are a variety of extension spring. A strip of steel with a preset curvature is coiled tightly so that each turn of the strip rests on its inner neighbor. The spring is actuated in a pulling, liner motion with the deflection resistance originating from the material's stiffness and spring construction. Unlike other extension springs, a consistent degree of force is exerted despite the degree of deflection.
Die springs are a robust type of helical compression springs consisting of rectangular wire. For the same value deflection, die springs carry 30% more load. These springs are designed to carry very high compression loads in hostile environments. Made mainly for punch press to provide consistent and reliable resistance, die springs also find use in other industries.
Helically wound to oppose resistant forces, extension springs have consistent mechanical energy to return to its no-load, compressed position. The ends of the spring are attached to components intended to move apart, with the extension spring providing a reliable return force.
Flat springs are flat strips of material that, when deflected by an external load, store and release energy. Flat springs are small, stamped metal components that function like a spring by controlling deflection within small or restricted spaces.
Gas springs provide controlled motion and speed for elements, such as lids and doors, that open and close.
Power springs and spring motors are rotational-drive springs that are wound tightly and mounted on an arbor. They are used in applications such as retractable reels, tape measures, and retracting seat belts.
Preload springs, spacers, and washers are meant to maintain tension in an assembly where some slack may be present. Their capabilities can eliminate rattle, compensate for expansion or contraction of the assembly materials, or absorb intermittent shock loads. These products are made of elastic deformable materials, most commonly convoluted ductile, high-strength metal alloys which come in machined, welded, and open-ring varieties.
Spring washers, sometimes called disc springs, lend their mechanical capabilities to the unique profile of the material: the irregularities of the washer compress with a proportionate resistance to return to their predeflected shape. Spring washers are employed in applications where assemblies need a part to take up play, maintain assembly tension, compensate for expansion or contraction in materials, or to absorb intermittent shock loads and provide a controlled reaction under dynamic loads.
Spring winding services providers fabricate springs to specifications supplied by their customers, often providing design assistance.
Helically wound springs that deflect torque rotationally, torsion springs express mechanical energy through the property of elasticity: the spring action happens when it is twisted rather than compressed or pulled. Despite the name, torsion springs are subject to bending stress--not torsion--as the torque is carried through the length of the wound material.
Wave washers or wave springs are wavy metal washers designed to provide a compensating spring force and sustain a load or absorb shock.