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COMPRESSIOM SPRINGS

Compression Springs

Compression springs are widely known as coil springs. 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.

They are an ideal solution in many situations that require a pushing force to counteract pressure going in the opposite direction. As such, they can be found in many different applications and settings. Common examples of coil springs in everyday use include anything from ballpoint pens and door hardware to precision tools, vehicles, electronic devices, button switches, medical equipment, and heavy-duty industrial machinery.

Most compression springs are made from open-coiled steel wire, but there is an endless variety of sizes, stiffness (spring rate), and cross-section design and shapes available. For instance, more specialised options include conical, concave, garter, barrel, and hourglass springs. In fact, there are few limits to how large or small a coil spring can be made. Tiny versions are often found in handheld electronic devices like mobile phones, keyboards and mice, while products built for automotive or industrial use can be much larger and heavier.

TYPES OF COMPRESSION SPRINGS

Compression springs come in a wide range of shapes and sizes, each of which significantly impacts the force and tension an individual spring provides. Different kinds also contain and deliver power through various forms.The types of compression springs available include:

CONVEX SPRINGS
Convex springs (i.e., barrel-shaped springs) have coils with larger diameters in the middle of the spring and coils with smaller diameters on both ends. This design allows the coils to fit within each other when the spring is compressed. Manufacturers use convex springs in applications that require more stability and resistance to surging as the springs decompress. Most applications that use them are in the automotive, furniture, and toy industries
CONCAVE SPRINGS
Concave springs (i.e., hourglass springs) have narrower coils in the middle of the spring than on either end. The symmetrical shape helps ensure the springs stay centered over a particular point.
CONICAL SPRINGS
Conical springs (i.e., tapered springs) are shaped like cones. One end has a larger diameter than the other, and the coils throughout the spring provide a gradual taper or change in size. Some conical springs have enough change in diameter from coil to coil so that each coil fits into the previous one.
STRAIGHT COIL SPRINGS
In these springs, every coil has the same diameter. Straight coils are some of the most common springs in use.
VARIABLE PITCH SPRINGS
Variable pitch springs have different distances between each coil up and down the length of the spring.
VOLUTE SPRINGS
These springs are cone-shaped. However, instead of having wire coils, the coils are formed from a curled sheet of metal or other material.

Key Compression Spring Parameters

Rate: Spring rate is the change in load per unit deflection in pounds per inch (lbs/in) or Newtons per millimeter (N/mm).

Stress: The dimensions, along with the load and deflection requirements, determine the stresses in the spring. When a compression spring is loaded, the coiled wire is stressed in torsion. The stress is greatest at the surface of the wire; as the spring is deflected, the load varies, causing a range of operating stress. Stress and stress range govern the life of the spring. The wider the operating stress range, the lower the maximum stress must be to obtain comparable life. Relatively high stresses may be used when the operating stress range is narrow or if the spring is subjected to static loads only.

Outside Diameter: The diameter of the cylindrical envelope formed by the outside surface of the coils of a spring.

Hole Diameter: This is a measurement of the space where you would insert a compression spring. It is the diameter of a mating part to a compression spring and often commonly mistaken for a dimension of the spring itself. The hole diameter should be designed larger than your compression spring’s outside diameter factoring tolerance and spring expansion under load.

Rod Diameter: This is a measurement of the rod that goes through the inside of a compression spring. Essentially a mating part, this rod can work as a guide shaft to minimize spring buckling under load. The rod diameter should be designed smaller than your compression spring’s inside diameter factoring tolerance; however, not too small or else it loses ability to minimize spring buckling.

Free Length: The length of a spring when it is not loaded. NOTE: In the case of extension springs, this may include the anchor ends.

Wire Diameter: This is a size measurement of the raw material used to form a spring. Conventional springs are made with round wires that are specified to a diameter. Consult our guide on How to Measure a Compression Spring.

Solid Height: This is a length dimension of a compression spring at its maximum loaded condition. Effectively, this is the compression spring’s height when all the coils are pressed together.

Spring Set: This is an occurrence when a spring is loaded beyond its material elastic strength. It is a kind of permanent deformation that is noticeable when a spring does not return to its original length after releasing a deflection load. Depending on the application, spring set can be either desirable or undesirable.

Load at Solid Height: This is a measurement of the force required to completely deflect a compression spring to where the coils are fully pressed together. For product designers that want to avoid the occurrence of bottoming out a compression spring, Load at Solid Height is quick reference property to find springs capable of handling an assembly’s maximum operating load.

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