People use many heavy devices with moving parts to make their everyday lives much easier, whether it’s driving to work in their cars, using the elevator in a large building or opening their garage with an automated garage door opening system when they get home from work. To avoid bringing injury to the operator of devices such as these, they must be cushioned somehow so as to reduce the harmful jolt of sudden impacts. Engineers often incorporate helical crafts of metal commonly known as springs to achieve this cushioning. Springs serve as buffers between two large components in a mechanical object that move to and from each other under normal operation, where they would otherwise collide often and cause the device to wear out earlier than expected. By more gradually storing the mechanical energy of these two components by compressing the spring between, their impact is greatly reduced. There are several different varieties of springs, and most steel spring manufacturing companies are very accustomed to designing custom springs for industrial use as well.
Possibly the most widely recognizeable variety of spring is the coil spring. They are essentially a long piece of firm wire that is twisted into a coil. These nifty little springs can be found in almost anything that needs to be cushioned in any way: couches, mattresses, chairs, cars, construction vehicles, elevators, robotic devices and even office supplies such as staplers. Coil springs can be used in either an expansion or compression method. One very practical way that coil springs are used is as a shock absorbing device in the suspension of most automobiles. When a car is faced with an abnormality in the road’s surface, the suspension must absorb the shock so that the person driving the car doesn’t develop back problems from sudden jolts caused by bumps in the road. In the event that an elevator breaks loose from its pulley system, at the bottom there is a set of coil springs to spare the lives of those who are inside the elevator.
Another type of spring that is used in common household objects is the torsion spring. While similar in appearance to a coil spring, the torsion spring is different in functionality. As opposed to compressing vertically, torsion springs are compressed through twisting, and store energy on the spring’s rotational axis. Mousetraps use this kind of spring to hold back the bar until a mouse triggers the trap. Torsion springs are also used in garage doors to make it easier for people to pull the heavy door up when a power outage occurs and it cannot be opened automatically. These springs help out lots when heavy loads need to be lowered and then lifted back up again.
Many companies have emerged that engineer springs for industrial usage and home usage to prevent the violent nature of hard collisions from injuring people and damaging equipment. Their designs keep people safe while they are managing large and dangerous objects. Without springs, it would be very dangerous to accomplish even the basics in most of our lives.
Al Rat is a Houston native who simply loves writing. I enjoy writing articles about anything and everything that interests me – I hope others will be interested too!