Coil springs, one of the most widely commissioned and simplest types of spring configurations in the world, are coiled metal or plastic cords that are used to absorb or store mechanical energy. Typically, coil springs are made from rounded strips of cord, unlike flat springs, which are made from flat strips of cord.
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Application of Coil Springs
Coil springs, which are sometimes additionally called helical springs because of their helical shape, can be coiled to varying degrees of tightness. Some of the many industries in which they are used include: aerospace, commerce, electronics, food and beverage, manufacturing, military and defense, office supply, restaurant and small business health regulation, rodent and pest control.
Within these industries, they are used for applications such as: office supplies like staplers and printers, mechanical pencils, pens, torsion springs (used to transfer and store energy mechanical energy via twisting motion in products like garage doors, CD players, hinges, digital cameras and clothes pins), simple hand tools, complex industrial equipment and mousetraps. In addition, very large coil springs are employed to suspend the facilities of the North American Aerospace Defense Command deep with the Cheyenne Mountain of Colorado.
Design of Coil Springs
Coil springs are typically made from some sort of steel-based material, such as steel music wire, hard drawn steel, stainless steel and spring steel. Note that spring steel is a special type of steel that is designed to exhibit increased elasticity and return properties. Spring elasticity is an important quality because it is the property that allows a spring to return to its original position.
No matter the material with which a coil spring is made, two things are universally true. First, the larger the wire, the stronger the spring. Second, the smaller the coil diameter, the stronger the spring.
Types of Coil Springs
There are many different types of coil springs, including conical coil springs, cylindrical coil springs, volute springs (a type of heavy load compression spring), torsion springs, compression springs, and extension springs.
Compression springs and extension springs are particularly common types of coil springs. Compression springs work to keep components from touching by compressing under the weight of a load, whereas extension springs, in order to keep two or more components together, lengthen, or extend, under the weight of a load. Another way in which compression springs and extension springs differ is in the way that they behave when they are not under pressure. First, when compression springs are in a relaxed position, their spiral wires do not touch. Rather, their wires only touch when they are put under stress by the application of weight. Second, in contrast, when extension springs are in a relaxed position their spiral wires do touch, and it is only when a load of weight is placed on them that the wires stretch apart.
Things to Consider When Choosing Coil Springs
Those shopping for coil springs should consider a number of different variables as they decide on spring configurations and specifications. These include: the weight of the projected load, the nature of the environment in which the spring will be placed, required elasticity, the size of the intended application, the dimensions of the space in which the spring is intended to operate and any and all industry/government regulations to which the customer must adhere.
Considerations such as these will help the customer and supplier decide what style of spring, what spring material and what spring dimensions are best, as well as how tightly a coil spring should be wound. Customers should note that, regardless of a coil spring’s initial level of elasticity, its elasticity will diminish with use. However, matching the right spring with the right application will help reduce wear and tear.
For help making your decisions, we recommend you consult with an experienced spring manufacturer, such as one of those listed near the top of this page. A good manufacturer will offer you services such as: comprehensive consultations, custom coil prototyping and design, pre-production stress and performance tests, production representative samples, special packaging, cost saving in-house processing and fast turnaround times, among other things. The right manufacturer will offer you affordable, precision made and uniform parts, whether you require a high volume of coil springs or just a few.
Also, be on the lookout for companies that offer desirable services, such as ISO compliant green manufacturing, lean production, ISO certified manufacturing processes, AS9100 certified springs (for aerospace applications) and ISO certified management systems. The companies with whom IQS partners offer services like these and more. Browse their websites and reach out to their representatives to learn more about what they individually offer.