The Different Types of Spring Ends
Yes, there are different types of spring ends out there for various uses. Learn more details below.
Springs are metallic objects that store mechanical energy. They come in a wide variety of designs and are used in several applications on a daily basis. When stretched or compressed from their resting positions, springs efficiently exert opposing forces approximately proportional to the springs’ change in length. Therefore, knowing the type of spring to use per time depends significantly on the application.
Spring ends are defining characteristics of most springs. They are known to determine the spring to use for a specific job requirement or need. For example, some spring ends are straight or open, while others are closed. Therefore, whether or not the application will be stretched, compressed, or twisted depends on the specific requirements – which in turn – are primarily determined by the spring end.
However, the market is generally composed of 3 types or kinds of springs. They are:
- Extension or tension springs
- Torsion springs
- Compression springs
Each of these springs comes with different ends for a wide variety of applications.
Let’s check each of these springs and their corresponding ends.
1. Extension or Tension Spring Ends
Extension springs, or tension springs, are the usual standard lengths of tightly-coiled metal commonly seen in steel spring wire. Loops and hooks are the major end-type options for tension springs.
Loops are fully closed entirely or all the way, while hooks often have a small gap between the spring’s body and the end of the hook.
Like every other spring, extension springs also efficiently absorb and store energy. Resistance helps create spring tension, especially when 2 objects are attached to either end of the spring and extended or pulled. The spring force, as well as the stored energy, serve to pull these 2 objects back together.
Tension springs are often used in garage doors, trampolines, farm machinery, and many other applications.
Approximately 10 percent of all the springs manufactured by companies today are extension springs. However, these springs are notorious for the trouble they cause due to the poor consideration given to stress as a result of initial tension, deflection of hooks, stress, manufacturing methods, overstretching at assembly, and secondary operations.
2. Torsion Spring Ends
Torsion springs are springs designed to supply adequate force when you twist or torque them. They are mostly cylindrically designed and can be of any size or shape. The spring wire can be made from rectangular or flat and square steel spring wire. The loads of torsion springs should always be set in such a way that the spring always closes.
The ends of torsion springs – called ‘legs’ – are straight. They are set at varied angles of 90 degrees, 180 degrees, 270 degrees, or 360 degrees while in an accessible position. Torsion springs are available in a wide range of sizes and are used in multiple applications, such as screen doors, clothespins, garage doors, and mouse traps.
Knowing the specific application a torsion spring will be used for is important before selecting one. This is because torsion springs can be used for left or right wound applications when installed.
3. Compression or Coil Spring Ends
Compression springs are usually made of steel spring wire and are available in various forms and shapes. Coil springs are primarily designed to store mechanical energy or resist forces when in the push mode or compressed. They are used extensively in the medical, manufacturing, and technology industries.
The force compression springs produce excellent and ideal components for storing energy. This is why you usually find them used in everyday items like mobile phones, pens, shafts, etc.
Coil springs usually come with 2 basic end type options: open or closed. But the more familiar option is compression springs with the closed-end type. The spaces between the last 2 coils on a closed-end coil spring are deliberately squared off, and in contact with each other, so the ends sit very flat.
But the ends of open-ended coil springs are not squared off like its counterpart. Instead, they are often placed over shafts or rods in order to stay upright.
The Helical Compression Spring Ends
The helical compression spring has 4 types of ends that are outlined below:
- Open and ground ends
- Open and not ground ends
- Closed and ground ends
- Closed and not ground ends
Let’s take a brief look at each of them:
- Open and Ground Ends
Springs with open and ground ends are manufactured when more active coils are needed – which impacts the required rate – or a need for a lower solid height arises.
- Open and Not Ground Ends
Springs with open ends that are not ground are created when the rate and solid height are not a big issue. They are also manufactured this way since the design gives room for a generous and additional length tolerance. The open ends are essential where the spring needs to be screwed onto a threaded part.
- Closed and Ground Ends
Springs with closed and ground ends come with a squareness characteristic that gives them better seating than other spring end types. This characteristic also determines how the axial forces the springs generate are transferred to their mating part or the mechanisms that they work in.
Moreover, buckling is noticeably reduced when the ends of a spring are closed and ground.
- Closed and Not Ground Ends
Springs with closed and not ground ends are the most economical to create or manufacture. In addition, they perform exceptionally well when the spring index goes beyond 12:1 or if the wire size is less than 0.020 inches.
Some of the considerations that go into specifying the particular type of ends on helical compression springs are:
- The required length tolerances
- The ratio of the diameter of the springs to their length, and
- The tangling/packaging issues are usually linked with open wound springs
In addition, there are several combinations of the types of ends on the same spring. But these types of springs are not produced anyhow without having an in-depth and focused discussion with the spring maker.
The type of spring ends available depends on the spring type and its application. Every spring has a specific end, which may be open, straight, or closed. The common types of springs are extension springs, compression springs, and torsion springs.
Whether or not the application will be stretched, compressed, or twisted depends on the specific requirements, primarily determined by the spring end.
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