Industrial springs are often responsible for controlling movement in vehicle suspensions, for providing precise timing in watches, or for suspending heavy weights, as is sometimes done with extension springs. Use this as a basic vocabulary sheet to familiarize yourself with the various types of industrial springs and their key concepts.
The number of working turns in an industrial spring are the number of times the spring wraps or coils around. To count how many working turns a spring has, trace it with your finger and, every time you complete a revolution around the spring, count one working turn.
Hair springs are also known as spiral springs. They resemble nothing more than a closely wound spiral of metal. Their coils don't touch, but lay close together. Hair springs may be used in anything from industrial balances to small medical instruments.
Coil compression springs are the most common type of spring. They're shaped as if wire had been wrapped around a cylinder, and are used in everything from automotive applications to mattresses and ball point pens.
The best example of a torsion spring can be found in a simple clothespin. Torsion springs resist twisting, torquing and winding forces and can be used to hold objects in place or to store and release angular energy.
Both coil springs and wave springs are compression springs. They compress down into a smaller space, offering resistance as they go when pressure is applied. Wave springs look much the same as a coil spring, except instead of tracing an unbroken spiral of wire around an imaginary cylinder, wave springs more closely resemble mesh webbing wrapped around an imaginary cylinder shape.
Extension springs are tightly coiled springs designed to resist stretching. When you stretch an extension spring, it attempts to retract back into the original coil. This type of spring is sometimes used to suspend loads.