Mechanical Spring: Definition, Types, Function, Materials, Applications, Advantages & Disadvantages [PDF]

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In this article, you’ll learn about the Mechanical Spring which is under your Strength of Material subject. Here in this paper, I will show you the Types, Function, Material, Applications, Advantages, and Disadvantages of a Spring. So let’s dive into the article and start with the definition of a Spring.

What is Mechanical Spring?

A Mechanical Spring is a device which can also be defined as an elastic or resilient member, whose main function is to deflect under the action of load and recovers it’s original shape when the load is removed. It also used for storing energy.

Types of Mechanical Springs

Mechanical Springs can be classified into various types, here in this section I am going to mention some of the most widely used mechanical springs. So here is our list:

  1. Helical Spring
  2. Conical and volute Spring
  3. Torsion Spring
  4. Laminated or leaf Spring
  5. Disc or Belleville Spring
  6. Special Purpose Spring

#1 Helical Spring:

Helical spring is one type of torsion spring which is made of wire coiled, form as a helix shape. It is one of the most used mechanical spring.

The cross-section of the wire by which Helical Spring is made can be circular, rectangle or square in shape. 

In this type of spring, the spring can store the energy when it is pressed and released the store energy later on, as well as it can withstand the pulling force between two objects. This type of spring can also resist or absorb sudden jerk or impact.

In practice, if you see the suspension of a motorcycle or a high-end railway coach, there you can see helical springs are used. Other than this, helical springs are used for carrying, pulling or compressing of any loads. 

Some of the properties of Helical Springs:

  • It is durable.
  • Higher dimension stability
  • High tensile strength
  • Corrosion-resistant.

Helical Spring can be categorized as:

  1. Closed Coil Helical Spring
  2. Open Coil Helical Spring

So What is Closed Coil Helical Spring?

In closed coil helical spring, the distance between each turn or coil is pretty less, or you can say the pitch distance is too small. The angle of the helix of closed coil helical spring is less than 10 degree. 

This type of spring is used to resist the elongation or twisting. The stiffness of closed coil helical spring is generally higher than any other spring, for this reason, it is used in heavy-duty applications. 

Open Coil Helical Spring:

As the name denotes open coil, that means the distance between two consecutive turns is more (Helix angle is greater than 10 degree). These springs are used to resist compression. 

Generally, open-coil helical springs are used in Automobile, Motorcycles and even V/Vs assembly of IC Engine.

helical spring diagram
Helical Spring Diagram, Learn Mechanical

#2 Conical and Volute Spring:

This is generally one type of compression spring, conical in shape. When the compression load applies to the spring, then the coils are slide over each other, make it short length and compact in shape than other helical springs.

This type of springs is used in electrical or electronics equipment, garden secateurs etc. In practical life, you can see this type of spring in the remote or clock’s battery section.

This type of spring is also known as tapered spring.

conical spring diagram
Conical Spring Diagram, Learn Mechanical

#3 Torsion Springs:

Torsion spring is one kind of close coil helical spring. In this type of spring, when twisting occurs then the spring stored the energy inside it, and when the twisting force lifted it push back to its actual position. When it is twisted than a torque generated at the opposite direction of the twisting force, which helps the spring to back its actual shape.

According to one clear choice garage doors, a torsion spring can have a life cycle of 7-9 years, assuming 10,000 cycles at 4 cycles a day.

Torsion springs are widely used in the garage door, clips, mouse catcher, torsion bar suspension, etc. 

torsion spring diagram
Torsion Spring Diagram, Learn Mechanical

#4 Leaf springs: 

It is an arc-shaped spring, made of metal strips one after another and held together by using nut and bolt or clamp. It is widely used as a suspension system of commercial vehicle such as bus, truck, etc. This spring is capable to withstand large forces in small areas. It is generally made of Steel, Graphite epoxy, Carbon epoxy. (Source: Science Direct).

leaf spring diagram
Leaf Spring Diagram, Learn Mechanical

#5 Disc Springs:

Disc or Belleville spring is a conical shape washers held together by bolt or tube which has the characteristic of spring. It is non-flat, conical shell spring which generally loads axially. This type of spring can exert constant pressure throughout the object and also provides a high load in small areas. It can be used where thermal expansion or contraction happens rapidly.

belleville spring cross section diagram
Belleville or Disc spring Cross Sectional Diagram, Learn Mechanical

#6 Special Purpose Springs:

Air spring, gas spring, extension Spring, grater spring, etc. falls under the category of Special Purpose Springs. As the name denotes “Special Purpose” that means these springs are not widely used, but still in some cases like, vice-grip pliers, carburettors, trampolines, washing devices, even in toys we use extension spring.

Nowadays we use air spring, where the air is used to pump the bladder which helps us to absorb the shock and vibration completely. So these types of springs are falls under the category of special-purpose springs.

extension spring diagram
Extension Spring is One of the Example of Special Purpose Spring, Learn Mechanical

The Function of Spring:

The Function of Springs are:

  • To absorb the shock or vibration as in-car springs, railway buffers, etc.
  • To measure the forces in a spring balance.
  • Apply forces in brakes and clutches to stop the vehicles.
  • Spring is also used to store the energy as in clocks, toys, etc.
  • Spring can control the motion of cams and followers by maintaining contact between two elements.

Spring Materials:

Springs are made of the following materials:

  • Hard drawn wire: These are general purpose spring, where we need low-temperature resistance and low stress we can use these types of spring material.
  • Stainless Steel: Nowadays stainless steel is widely used in making of spring.
  • Phosphor Bronze: These types of spring are used in Electrical industry due to the material have good electrical conductivity and good resistance to corrosion
  • Chrome Silicon: This type of spring can be used in high temperature up to 250-degree celsius.
  • Chrome Vanadium: These types of spring have good thermal conductivity up to 220-degree Celsius and also has good fatigue resistance.
  • Graphite epoxy: It is used in high strength spring such as leaf spring.
  • Carbon epoxy: It is made of carbon fibre, and have the ability to bear a high load, this material is also used in high strength applications like automobile, and locomotive.

Applications of Spring:

Springs are used in the following areas:

  • Automobile suspension system.
  • In cam-follower assembly, we use spring too.
  • Spring is used in railway boogies.
  • We used spring in the clutch, brake, and valve assembly to exert force on these objects.
  • Springs are used in garage doors, gardening equipment, door lock, and many other household accessories.

Advantages of Spring:

These are the following advantages of spring:

  • Produce a good cushioning effect.
  • Spring has a good shock-absorbing ability.
  • It has high durability.
  • Spring has the ability of stored energy inside it.
  • It is easy to design and cheaper to produce.
  • Spring is a maintenance-free device.

Disadvantages of Spring:

A Spring has this following disadvantage:

  • Day by day its loose it shape and stability.
  • Sometimes when the axial load of the spring is increased, it produce the buckling phenomena.
  • If spring is broken then it is hard to repair.

So as of now, we saw the types, applications and some of the other things. These are the basic things related to Mechanical Spring. I hope you liked this article, if so then don’t forget to share this article among your friends, and your favourite social handle. I will see you in some another article.

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