Key qualities of springs
There are many different types of springs used throughout the design and engineering world, however, they all share common properties which make them perfect for projects. However, each spring can possess these properties in very different ways. Knowing how they do so is vital as these differences can vastly affect work.
What are the key qualities of springs that should be borne in mind when designing for a building project?
Torsion is the twisting of an object as a result of torque being applied, in springs this allows them to store rotational energy. A torsion spring follows Hooke’s law, which states that force needed to extend a spring by some distance is proportional to this distance.
However, Hooke’s law must eventually fail once force exceeds a certain limit. Knowing what this limit is for particular needs becomes an integral part of any project.
This coiled spring was first used in door locks during the 15th century but soon became prominent in clock-making, as the first mechanical clock was also created that century with the help of springs.
Springs with high torsion ability can be used in clothes pins, cameras and a weight support for heavy moving objects like garage doors.
There are also spring with a distinctive helical shape capable of withstanding compressive forces. This is the most common spring type. A compression spring, when pushed by a load will always push back in order to try and reshape itself into its original form. Not only do they offer resistance to this force, but they also the most efficient way to store the energy received from this force.
When experiencing full load, the spring experiences stress and is in full torsion as a result. The stress is experienced more typically at the top of the spring, but operating stress is experienced throughout the spring depending on the spread of the load.
Installed at full stress in most cases, compression springs can take a significant amount of stress without experiencing damage.
Typically used in vehicle suspension, toys and spring mattresses or other areas that need to absorb impact.
Tightly wound coils designed to work with tension, these springs stretch to a certain length as the load is applied. The coils, when unloaded, are touching and only part when a load is applied. When the load pulls, the spring tries to return to its more compressed form and this causes the springing action until the force ceases and it returns to its original form.
One of the widest uses of all springs, found in industrial robots all the way to locks and trampolines.
 Related articles on Designing Buildings Wiki
Featured articles and news
Four ways in which smart cities could make our lives better.
Mayor Sadiq Khan announces new Greener City Fund in drive to make London the first 'National Park City'.
BSRIA announce UKAS accreditation for sound absorption testing.
The full terms of reference are published for the Grenfell Tower Inquiry.
Read our introductory article into the role and practice of the architect.
Despite dividing opinion since its 1955 completion, Stalin's gift to Poland, the PKiN, is still Warsaw's most recognisible landmark.
Graduate Engineer Brittany Harris asks, what makes a great place to work?
Mayor Sadiq Khan publishes new guidance aimed at fast-tracking affordable housing projects through planning.
An estimated 90% of our time is spent inside, so could urban allotments be the answer to increasing health and wellbeing?
Why disputes occur and how they can be avoided.
Understand each building and its needs before exploring technical solutions and hiring consultants.
‘Device to Root Out Evil’ - an upside-down, New England-style church built with its steeple in the ground.