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Spring machines are commonly called the springs. They are the mechanical devices that can be pushed, pulled, winded, or lifted. The goal of the spring machines is to protect other components or parts inside a running machine and the protection from the spring machines is carried out by the tensile force, torsion force or compressive force that the springs offer. Other common applications of spring machines are to lift engine valves or to hold batteries in place, etc.
The most commonly-seen spring machine people can see in the daily life comes in the style as the coils. This type of spring machine is known as the wire spring which is made of metal wires that are bended and curved into a coil shape. The diameter of the wire spring, the turns it has, and the thickness the wire is vary in order to provide different levels of forces. There are also multiple metal materials that can be used to make the spring machine. By the features the wire springs have, they can be divided into several types.
The compression springs are the spring machines that we can see in an AC or TV remote control to hold the batteries in place. They are the helically coiled wires to provide opposing force when they are compressed. When the compression springs are pressed, the rooms between the wires close together until the coils touch. This type of spring machine is used mostly when the opposing force is needed between two or more components in a machine. The end of the compression springs are usually left open or closed. Based on the turns, the diameters, the material, and the length the compression springs have, they are very versatile and can be applied in different settings. The compression springs can be stronger by reducing the outer diameter of the spring and increasing the wire diameter.
The extension springs are the spring machine that looks very similar to the compression springs while the way they work is on the opposite. The compression springs and the extension springs both have the helically coiled wire style but the latter is designed to give an opposing force when the spring is stretched. Also, the end of the extension springs usually comes in the style of a hook or a loop to engage the two components. The extension springs are used mostly on the movable joints where the movement involves mainly opening and closing. With greater wire diameter and fewer coils, the extension springs are stronger; the less the wire diameter and the more the coils, the weaker the extension springs are.
The other common spring machine is the torsion spring. The torsion springs are the small helical coils with the two ends prolonged and pointed to two directions. The special design of such spring machine makes it able to resist torque loads. The manufacturing application of torsion springs is primarily for various motion controls. Though the torsion springs look like the compression springs and extension springs, they work in a radial direction to apply torque instead of work axially to give tension or compression. However, just like the compression springs and the extension springs, the force the torsion springs give may differ by the design, the diameter, the coil number, the material and other factors in order to be work with different applications.
There are other types of spring machines that are made for different applications. Most of the spring machines are the device made of metal and configured in different design to withstand or to give force to other components in a more complicated device or machine. The force they created is mainly based on the features the material has and the configurations the spring has, such as the constant force springs, Belleville springs, drawbar springs or the flat springs.
On the other hand, there are also spring machines that apply a more different physical mechanism to create the force, such as the gas springs. The gas springs are the spring machines that consist of a cylinder and a rod. The opposing force of a gas spring is created by the gas inside the cylinder. When the rod is compressed, the pressure of the gas inside the cylinder resists the compression and gives an opposing force to the rod to force it back. The gas springs are used mostly as the suspension system on the vehicles or in the manufacturing production lines.
Typically, the spring machines are made of high carbon spring steel or stainless steel. The compression springs, extension springs, or the torsion springs are mostly made of high carbon spring steel. The reason is that the high carbon spring steel is the material with the lowest cost but most versatile applications. Though there is anti-corrosion finish to the spring machines made of carbon steel, the high carbon spring steel still corrodes if it is not lubricated or sealed well within a machine. On the other hand, the spring machines that are made of stainless steel are able to give higher tensile strength and ductility. One special feature of the stainless steel is that it is nonmagnetic in the annealed condition but becomes magnetic with cold deformation.
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