The Common Types of Industrial Springs and Their Aircraft Use

Industrial springs are common hardware components that are often overlooked, typically being mounted within an assembly of moving parts. Crucial to motion control and industrial equipment, industrial springs may be found in door closing systems, the mechanical seals of rotary unions, and much more. While there are numerous types of industrial springs that one may use, the most common variations that serve industrial applications include compression, extension, and torsion springs.

Compression springs are a type that are capable of resisting axial compressive forces, serving as the most efficient type in regard to energy storage. As force is exerted on the spring, the component will begin to compress and build up energy. Once the spring is able to return to its standard position, the built-up energy is released against the load, pushing it back. A common type of compression spring is the wave spring that of which features a flat wire with waves at each turn. With their availability to provide high force while having a lower working height, such devices serve vibration isolators and bearing retention applications.

Extension springs differ from compression springs, serving to resist the tensile forces that pull them apart. Through the use of coiling, initial tension is provided. This ensures that the spring exhibits pulling forces when extended for the means of returning to a resting state. With loops or hooks situated at each end of the spring, components can be attached and held together through the force of the spring. While compression springs feature zero load while at zero deflection, extension springs have a load at zero deflection as a result of their initial tension. For their industrial applications, extension springs may commonly be found on medical devices and automated equipment door mechanisms.

Torsion springs are a more specialized type as compared to the compression and extension spring, featuring resistance to twisting forces rather than compression or axial tension. For their construction, such springs are helically wound, featuring arms on each end that rotate around the component’s central axis. The arms are always attached to various components, allowing for a load to be exerted on the spring itself. When an application requires a high amount of torque for proper functionality, two torsion springs may be paired with a space between the two. These assemblies are known as double torsion springs. While torsion springs are very common, one typical use is to be used as a clothespin.

In the realm of aviation, industrial springs find many uses on an aircraft. Within the landing gear, compression springs are found within poppet returns, slat servos, and slat controls. Meanwhile, extension springs facilitate the operation of boom latches, automatic patch levers, and other various systems. With the use of a torsion spring, tall cone levers, passenger door entrances, and other parts can operate with ease. As a result, having various industrial springs on hand can ensure the continued operation of countless aircraft systems and components, proving their use and importance.

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