The Top 5 Uses of a Coil Spring to Know

Coil Spring | KB Delta

A coil spring, also known as helical spring, is one of the most common types of springs in use.

The spiral, coiled shape is readily recognizable; the basic yet versatile form means it can be used to push, pull or support almost anything.

A coil spring may serve three basic purposes. It stores and releases energy, absorbs shock or maintains contact between two surfaces.


How to Find the Right Material for Coil Springs

To determine the most appropriate material when constructing helical or coil springs, manufacturers consider the environment in which it will be used, since different metals respond differently depending on usage.

Material used to construct these springs can range from stainless steel, copper, bronze or silicon. They are most commonly made from stainless steel; bronze is used when corrosion is a concern, and copper for its low electrical resistance.

Factors such as temperature and risk of corrosion are the most common causes of spring failure.

The many uses of these springs depend on the type of material used in its design.

The basic shape naturally lends itself to countless applications, and the flexible shape means it is virtually indispensable.

From small household appliances to complex engineered structures, coil springs form an integral part of our everyday lives and its prevalent design makes it an essential component of virtually every type of construction.


1. Automotive Use

In small cars and light trucks, a coil spring is used in the suspension system, in conjunction with struts and shocks.

The springs quickly absorb the impact from the road, support the vehicle’s weight and work to keep all four wheels in contact with the road, and aid in the vehicle’s overall performance and handling.

They would not be appropriate in larger cars or trucks, since there is a limit to the amount of shock they can absorb.

These springs can also be used to hold the car hood open or keep the glovebox closed.

They are used to control valve movement in the engine, and in car seats to provide a more comfortable ride.

Springs may even be found in some headlight fixtures, to absorb impact from the road and prevent bulbs from breaking.

For automotive use, a coil spring can be made from silicon, since this can withstand a higher rate of heat and impact than most other materials.


2. Commercial Use

In commercial applications, a coil spring can be found in auto-close doors, garage doors or loading hatches.

With garage doors, where there is a repetitive opening and closing motion, it is critical that the springs perform consistently over repeated uses.

Energy is stored by twisting the spring, and then released when in use. These types of springs are usually made from carbon, titanium or copper for durability and stability.

To ensure optimal performance, it is essential that the proper size spring is used, proportional to the weight of the object it is supporting, to maintain a properly balanced garage door.

In auto-close doors, the springs work by exerting a steady resistance to keep the doors closed, then releasing this tension and allowing the doors to open when a sensor is triggered.


3. Construction and Infrastructure Needs

Coil, or helical springs form a virtual backbone of almost every commercial and engineering project.

They can be used as anchors in new construction and to reinforce existing foundations.

They can provide support and minimize movement in sidewalks. Oftentimes, they’re used in safety release valves, to close or open pipelines when needed.

These springs can be used to release a steady, measured amount of pressure, to prevent damage or reduce the risk of a system failure.

In bridges and railway buffers, it is important to have mechanical support and flexibility.

Coil springs can provide these functions, and can also be used as vibration dampers. These absorb the many shocks and impacts generated when a train is in use.

Since weather can be a damaging factor, the springs need to resist corrosion, and always perform consistently.


4. Firearms Parts

Springs can be found in a range of applications in ammunition and are a key part of a firearm’s performance and reliability.

They can be found in precision parts like gun springs, magazine springs, trigger springs, or recoil springs.

When used in detonators, the springs are flattened and either released immediately or locked in a compressed state until triggered.

No matter the application, it is imperative that these springs perform consistently under sustained usage. This is essential for the safety of the user and those in the immediate area.

In this instance, the coil spring is most often manufactured from a chrome silicon blend, since this material provides a high enough tensile strength to absorb shock, and may help minimize the stress and fatigue created during repeated discharge of a firearm.


5. Home Furnishings Use

In residential use, a coil spring is used in mattresses and couches to provide support and reduce impact while providing a cushioned effect; these springs are typically made from steel.

With mattresses, it is possible to customize the amount of support to the user’s personal preference.

The gauge or thickness of the spring determines the level of firmness, with a thicker spring yielding a firmer support.

In old fashioned wind-up watches and clocks, this type of spring is used to store energy. This energy is then slowly released at a steady, measured rate.

These springs are also used in children’s pop-up toys and music boxes, or in spring-loaded rat traps, where a strong, short burst of energy is required.


Finding the Perfect Coil Spring for You

To determine the proper coil spring needed, it’s important to work with companies who specialize in engineering and distributing coil springs.

They are experts in the field and are skilled at working with a wide range of materials in varying thicknesses.

If a custom spring is needed, these professionals often have the ability to manufacture to a customer’s exact specifications.

They may often offer quotes, as well as professional evaluations. They can also perform the precise calculations to find the proper spring that will provide the desired result. They’re often able to manufacture products in-house, to expedite the delivery process.

No matter what type of spring is needed, most professionals can conduct all necessary tests to ensure each spring performs consistently.

These professionals can help guide you through the process to select the most appropriate product for your needs.

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