A Coil spring, also known as a helical spring, is a mechanical device, which is typically used to store energy and subsequently release it, to absorb shock, or to maintain a force between contacting surfaces. They are made of an elastic material formed into the shape of a helix which returns to its natural length when unloaded.
Coil springs are a special type of torsion spring: the material of the spring acts in torsion when the spring is compressed or extended.
Metal coil springs are made by winding a wire around a shaped former - a cylinder is used to form cylindrical coil springs.
The two usual types of coil spring are:
- Tension coil springs, designed to resist stretching. They usually have a hook or eye form at each end for attachment.
- Compression coil springs, designed to resist being compressed. A typical use for compression coil springs is in car suspension systems.
References / sources
- Helical Spring by Sándor Kabai, The Wolfram Demonstrations Project.
- glossary by McAllister Industries, a manufacturer
- Institute of Spring Technology (UK)
- Spring Manufacturers Institute
- How to make springs (tutorial by Dave Silberstein)
- "You Spring From Morning To Night" , April 1949, Popular Science article on the basics of steel coil springs manufacturing
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