Last edited 18 Feb 2021

Wave springs


[edit] Introduction

Wave springs are some of the most widely used types of springs, but often, we don’t even realise that we are using them.

Most commonly found in circumstances where space is limited, wave springs are essential to many components in the world of mechanical design. They must be compact, provide ample force and be able to withstand immense pressure over a long period of time to be effective.

Wave Springs.jpg

[edit] What are wave springs?

Wave springs are a type of compression spring made from flat wire. They are called wave springs as they have multiple waves per turn. The flat wire, along with multiple waves, combine to create the same amount of force at reduced work heights when compared with other types of springs.

With technological developments meaning that many devices that once used compression springs have shrunk in size, the need for smaller, more compact springs has grown. The reduced size has allowed engineers to reduce the spring cavity once common in many technologies.

Wave springs are designed bespoke dependent on a spring force vs. work height ratio.

[edit] How are wave springs made?

In a similar method to many other types of spring, flat wire is passed through a specially-calibrated machine where it coils and ‘bounces,’ resulting in a wave spring. The machine is set up to process the wire up to a certain length, providing a system that can be tailored to any given project or requirement, and reducing waste.

Whilst wave springs can be made from a variety of materials, including carbon and stainless steel, they require fewer materials to compose, resulting in more cost-effective production.

[edit] Properties of wave springs

Wave springs are versatile; they hold many advantages that maintain their popularity with designers. For example, where space is limited, the innovative design of the wave spring ensures that the same amount of force as a compression spring is produced at 50% of the operating height.

Due to the layered design, only one spring is needed, whereas with alternative springs, such as stacked disc springs, several are needed to provide the same effect. In addition, the design of the spring can be amended to reflect whatever the task requires. For example, factors such as wire size, wire form and the turn configuration can all be altered to ensure that the end result is fit for purpose.

[edit] Common uses of wave springs

Due to the fact that wave springs can be substituted for compression springs, they are regularly used in a number of daily item:

[edit] Related articles on Designing Buildings Wiki

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