5 Surprising Industries That Use Spring Plates
Spring plates are used in a diverse range of applications and industries and are an essential component of many different types of machinery.
The role of the spring plate in various applications is somewhat similar, whether that be a motor or a compressor. Without this component, many of the machines we know and use would not function properly in their day-to-day operations.
Uses of Spring Plates
Machines endure a lot of movement, causing friction and buildup of heat.
Springs plates are vital to managing the rate of combustion and controlling vibration/noise that would otherwise lend to faster wear and tear or failure of a component’s role. Plates can be used as valves themselves or to provide a cushion, spring, or dampening effect.
Every application is unique, requiring different properties; meaning that what is suitable for your application may not be for another.
Let’s explore the different types of spring plates and their use in various industries.
Oil and Gas Compressors
The primary purpose of compressor valves is to maintain the flow of gas and protect mechanical equipment found in the piping system, where backflow could severely damage the equipment internals and cause unnecessary shutdowns. Without the valve, the compressor would not be able to work.
The key to this overall function involves the efficient implementation of springs, spring plates, and other valve components.
Compressors use valves to allow gas flow to and from the cylinder area. Their operation is based on pressure differences: if the pressure located below the valve is higher than the pressure above plus the spring force, the valve opens. These valves function as spring-loaded non-return valves, allowing gas to only flow in one direction.
Compressor valves are circular and consist of a series of rings or spring plates that are sandwiched between the cover and valve seat.
When the valve experiences a pressure difference, the plates and rings are pulled towards the area that has higher pressure. Spring plates and springs are used to return to the valve to a closed position when pressure has been normalized.
BEcause of this, even in low-speed compressors, compressor valves may open and close a thousand of times each day.
To compensate for this workload, they are constructed of highly durable precision materials.
Reciprocating Air Compressors
The reciprocating air compressor is the most common type of air compressor used anywhere and everywhere in the world today.
Depending on the designated number of stages, the delivery and intake valves are positioned for low pressure/high pressure accordingly.
The unit contains a valve seat with a locating pin and center bolt. The valve seat includes a number of concentric circles that form a perfect seal with the valve plate. The locating pins work to position these units in the same place without movement during operation with the help of the guide washer.
3 to 4 sets of spring plates are positioned on the valve plate, acting as the spring during valve operation. From there, a buffer plate covers the spring plate. Together, these plates are locked into position by the split pin and castle nut. The location of the spring plate and valve plate may vary depending on whether the valve in question is used for delivery or intake.
Disc Spring & Industrial Uses
Perhaps the most versatile of spring plates, disc springs, are easily recognizable for their plate-like washer-like shape.
Disc springs are used in a wide range of industries and applications. Because these spring type washers exert a consistent pressure, they have become the ideal solution for circumstances where tension losses are caused by compression set, thermal contraction/expansion, or wear of parts can occur.
Disc springs are found in applications such as:
- Valve actuator assembly
- Fail-safe break assembly
- Friction assembly
- Punch stripper assembly
- Shock absorbing bolted assembly
- Cable support assembly
- Drill bit shock absorber
- Pipe hold down assembly
- High-pressure valve
- Live loaded joints
- Valve packing assembly
Spring plates are found all throughout the automotive industry. Perhaps the most well-known use of these plates is found in clutch packs on popular motorcycles and vehicles on the road.
Working to reduce friction and create a smoother ride, the spring plate is located in the center of the spring clutch pack and fosters a clutch that is more forgiving. The spring plate itself is made up of two steel plates that sandwich the flat springs.
Other OEMs may use damper springs or a judder spring assembly to achieve similar results.
These types of plates are also found in the safe suspension of certain vehicles. In older vehicles, these plates, better known as leaf springs, are comprised of metal plates that measure at various lengths held together with the help of clamps and bolts.
The most common configuration takes the form of a slender arc-shaped piece of spring steel, providing the location for the axle and attaching to the vehicle chassis. Improving the suspension weight down with a heavy load, these plates help control vibration and movement of a vehicle.
Today, suspension that these plates take on a more modern design for high-performance vehicles and racing technology in both adjustable and non-adjustable forms.
Spring plates are also found in the technology we encounter every day. From high-powered databases to laptops and computers, metal grounding plates help to house and protect, while grounding sensitive motherboards.
The flat base of the spring plate is typically fitted to the recessed portion of the track with two channel-like mounting frames on each sound working as a guide for the inserted computer motherboard blade. Two clamping spring arms extend from the frames used to clamp the motherboard in place.
From combustion and vibration control to noise and wear and tear protection, spring plates are implemented in a plethora of industries for the security and efficient use of machinery.
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