Types of Springs and Their Applications

A spring is an elastic object, commonly made of spring steel, that stores mechanical energy. While there are many different spring designs, the term most commonly refers to coil springs. When a conventional spring is compressed or stretched from its natural position, the spring exerts a force roughly proportional to its change in length. This change in force, divided by the change in deflection, is called the rate or spring constant. While the general function of all springs is similar, types of springs can vary greatly in characteristics, applications, and more. This blog will explain some of the most common springs, and what sets them apart from one another.

Different types of springs can be made from a wide range of elastic materials, the most common of which being spring steel. Spring steel is a special range of steels used to manufacture springs, particularly for springs in automotive or industrial suspension applications. These steels are low-alloy manganese, medium-carbon steel, or high-carbon steel with very high yield strength. This allows spring steel to return to its original shape even after considerable deflection or twisting. Small springs can also be wound from pre-hardened stock, while larger springs are made from Anvil Steel and hardened after production. For springs requiring corrosion resistance, non-ferrous metals such as phosphor bronze and titanium can be used. In springs carrying electrical currents, beryllium copper is very commonly used.

The six most common types of springs are coil/helical, cantilever, volute, hairspring, leaf, and V-springs. As mentioned, the most common type of spring is the coil spring, also known as the helical spring. These springs are made by winding a wire around a cylinder, and consist of two subtypes: tension and compression. Tension springs are designed to become longer when under a load. Their loops are normally touching in the unloaded position and feature a hook or other attachment at each end. Compression springs are the opposite, designed to become shorter when a load is applied. Their loops are not touching when unloaded, and they do not need attachment points.

A cantilever spring is a flat spring fixed at one end to support its load at the center and other end of the spring. They typically extend from a flat, vertical surface like a wall to which the cantilever is attached. Volute springs are a compression coil spring in the form of a cone. Under a load, the coils slip past each other allowing the spring to be compressed to a very small size. This is a more efficient version of a conventional helical spring. A hairspring, also called a balance spring, is a delicate spiral-shaped spring found in objects such as watches, Galvanometers Assembly, or any object where electricity is carried to partially rotating devices without hindering the rotation.

The leaf spring is a simple spring used mainly for the suspension in wheeled vehicles. It is made from spring steel formed into a slender, arc-shaped length with a rectangular cross section. Leaf springs are attached directly to a frame at both ends, or through one end with the second end attached through a shackle. Lastly, v-springs are used in antique firearm mechanisms including the wheellock, flintlock, and percussion cap locks. V-springs are also used as door-lock springs, especially in antique door latch mechanisms. Whatever springs you are in need of, look no further than ASAP 3Sixty. Owned and operated by ASAP Semiconductor, ASAP 3Sixty can help you source all types of spring assembly, Spring Bearing, and spring armature parts and deliver them with some of the industry’s best lead times.


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