Compression, tension and torsion springs 25 June 2020

Compression, tension and torsion springs are amongst the most popular types of spring, as they are used in everyday applications, however each has a wealth of applications and uses. In this article spring manufacturer Airedale Springs Ltd takes an in-depth look at these types of springs and discusses their common applications.

Compression springs
Compression springs have an open-coil helical design and are probably the most popular types of springs as they can be manufactured in many different shapes and materials.

A wide range of applications use compression springs from ballpoint pens to mattresses and they are used across several different industries. Compression springs work by absorbing potential energy as they expand, which means that when more pressure is applied, the spring has more energy to push back. The most recognisable compression spring is a pogo stick but other common uses include door locks, turbines, wheelchairs, firearms and buttons. This versatility allows them to be produced in varying sizes and diameters depending on their application.

Tension springs
Also known as called extension springs, tension springs can be found in an equally diverse range of industries and sectors as compression springs. Tension springs are loaded with tension and their ends tend to possess hooks or loops which attach to an object.

Tension springs make up a trampoline and are pulled apart when someone jumps on it. Afterwards the springs return to normal sending people into the air. These springs can also be found in washing machines and pull levers.

Airedale Springs also creates prison springs which are a type of tension spring. They have three parts, including two U-shaped wire forms inserted into the middle. When the two ends are pulled apart, the spring compresses.

Torsion springs
As the names suggests, torsion springs make use of torsion. They are used in a range of common items such as hinges, clothespins, mousetraps and clocks. Just like other types of spring, it’s important that the design is optimised, which allows them to function optimally and maintain maximum rotational pressure between two surfaces.

Materials used to manufacture springs
There is a vast array of materials used in spring manufacturing. The most common are high carbon steels, alloy steels, non-ferrous alloys and high temperature alloys. All these materials are suitable for springs in both low and high stress applications.

It’s crucial to consider where the springs will be used when choosing the material. Copper springs for instance, are ideal for electric items since copper is a great conductor. The properties of high carbon steel such as strength, hardness and resistance to wear and tear, make it an ideal material for a magnitude of applications. Stainless steel is another key material for springs due to its features like heat and corrosion resistance.

Non-ferrous alloys such as aluminium are suitable for applications that require lightweight materials and resistance to heat, such as engine parts in aircraft. Cold drawn nickel and chromium alloys have good resistance to corrosion and to heat, meaning they work well in high temperature environments where oxidation needs to be taken into consideration.

Airedale Springs also uses materials such as chrome vanadium and chrome silicon, which are cold drawn steels. Chrome vanadium’s percentage of chromium ranges between 0.8% and 1.1% and its vanadium content tends to be 0.18%. Chrome silicon has a high degree of tensile strength and is highly resistant to heat, making it ideal for when high stress and temperatures are a concern.

Grant Rebecca Digital Content Assistant t: +44 (0) 1727 814 522

Grant joined the magazine in 2018, bringing with him extensive knowledge of online and digital platforms. He is developing his industry knowledge through exhibition visits and the production of video interviews with key industry players.

Grant manages the digital content across the FastFix network, and is also responsible for all social media channels.