A vast number of products in our modern world include springs of various shapes and sizes to ensure that the desired function of the application is performed. Whether it’s a door lock, clicking on your computer’s mouse, garage door springs, or a medical device we create springs every day for the various technologies to function properly.
Each project has its own requirements, so it also needs the springs in appropriate dimensions and material specifications to maximize its proper operation. A spring on a bicycle will have a completely different use, parameters and design from the springs used for example, for the brakes of a motorbike. A small torsion spring is placed in the clasp of a necklace, but a specialized stainless steel extension spring will be placed in the pylons containing electric current. The subject of this article are some of the variations you will encounter in the springs manufacturing industry as well as in everyday life.
First of all to understand the differences between the springs, especially those that are very similar, it’s important to get familiar with the most common types of springs. There is a plethora of possibilities that give a straight line of wire the ability to perform functions in a completely different way when it becomes a spring. The diameter of the wire, the outside diameter of the spring, the number of coils and the type of materials are the main factors that can change the behavior of a spring.
Compression springs or pressure springs are intended to perform a “compression” task, by which the spring becomes smaller when a load is applied. For example, these springs are usually found in electric switches, valves, pumps, etc.
Another extremely common and popular type of spring is the extension spring. This is designed to expand as the load is applied to it. Moreover the different shapes of spring’s edges have different effects. Trampolines, garage doors, door knobs/handles, arm awnings and shade industry equipment in general utilize extension springs to function.
A spiral torsion spring, or torsion spring, is found in watches, hand tools, kitchen timers, toys, hair accessories, clamps, various types of closing handles, garage doors, window screens, door knobs/handles, lighting fixtures and many more. It is able to store much more energy than a standard compression spring and operates in confined spaces. When a load is applied to a torsion spring, a twisting force is generated that rotates the spring, thus allowing a bending operation.
The different purposes of Springs.
In addition, pen springs typically require fewer coils than medical devices. However, this depends on the exact specifications required for the respective technology.
The first thing to keep in mind when choosing a spring is how springs are able to fulfill different purposes. The different processes and materials used to create them and the different methods performed to reach the final desired shape were all used specifically to ensure that each spring is a special creation that functions optimally.
By changing a factor in the method of making a spring, you can create something tailored to your measures (custom made springs), the special spring you need. This means that a minimal change in a spring factor, e.g. in the diameter of the wire or in the outside diameter, is sufficient to cause proper operation in the application used. In other words the manufacturing process creates extremely high precision springs capable of performing every important function.
Different materials are used for the manufacturing of compression springs for ball pens and more specialized alloys of stainless steel for the springs of medical equipment.
Creation and utilization of springs.
All springs, either compression, or extension or torsion, “carry” different loads by varying wire diameter, outside diameter of the spring, length and number of coils. These can be changed in real-time on spring coiling machines.
With so many possibilities in making springs, various machines are used to ensure that each one is created precisely for the required operation. The majority of the springs are created on a CNC machine (digital control computer). For example, a good CNC coiling machine is used to make compression springs, where the user can change the size, number and diameter of the coils, and the distance between each coil.
Utilizing technology with springs.
3D design has proven to be extremely beneficial to the springs industry. The design process is an element that the manufacturers of springs have begun to undertake. Although some customers will send specific dimensions without details of the intended function of the springs, not all project managers know the kind of springs they need. As a result, they may lack the proper equipment to process the specific dimensions that require up to the last millimeter precision.
Therefore, the introduction of 3D design has enabled spring makers to ensure that the dimensions are correct at first try, saving time and money.
The Michael SA Spring Industry is the largest manufacturing unit for compression springs, extension springs, torsion springs, shaped wires and metal parts in Greece. It adheres to all the procedures prescribed by the International Standard ISO 9001: 2015 and is audited annually by the TUV NORD Certification Body. (Certificate)