You Know the Springs Encyclopedia!

Springs is a tool that stores mechanical potential energy through elastic deformation, and has many different designs. In daily use, the term usually refers to a coil spring made of spring steel. The elasticity of the spring can be used to control the movement of the mechanical parts, ease the impact or vibration, store energy, and measure the size of the force. It is widely used in machines and meters.

When a conventional spring has no stiffness change characteristics, when compressed or stretched from its rest position, it exerts an opposite force proportional to the change in its length (this is approximately resolved into a larger deflection). The "rate" or "spring constant" of a spring is the change in the force it exerts, divided by the change in spring deflection. In other words, it is the gradient of the force and deflection curve. The rate at which a spring is extended or compressed is expressed in units of force divided by distance. A torsion spring twists when it twists around its axis to a certain angle, and it produces a torque proportional to the angle. The rate of the torsion spring is the torque divided by the angle, such as Newton meters/radian or foot-pound force/degree. The reciprocal of the spring rate is compliance, that is, if the spring rate is 10 N/mm, its elasticity is 0.1 mm/N. The stiffness (or velocity) of parallel springs is additive, as is the compliance of the springs in series.

The spring is made of various elastic materials, the most common being spring steel. Small springs can be wound from pre-hardened blanks, while larger springs are made of annealed steel and hardened after manufacture. Some non-ferrous metals are also used for phosphor bronze and titanium for parts requiring corrosion resistance and beryllium copper for current-carrying springs (because of its low resistance).

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