Types of compression springs | Comparison, reviews and functions

Types of compression springs are also referred to as coil springs and they have the capacity to store energy when under compression.

Yes, that’s not complicated right?

In our article, we are about to uncomplicate the compression springs by looking at some of the important things concerning them. For example,

  • What are compression springs?
  • Types of compression springs.
  • Characteristics of coil springs.
  • Adjustable compression springs.

Without a doubt, this article will try it’s best to answer your question about the types of compression springs.

What are compression springs?

Their major function is to absorb and store compression force. This is possible because when a load’s force is placed onto the spring, they become shorter which helps with force absorption.

Within some circles their design is referred to as an open coiled spring or helical springs.

The absorption of force makes the coil spring one of the best types of suspension springs. Because they are able to absorb and distribute force through out the design hence providing comfort.

The reason why these springs store the force is so that they can return to the rightful form. This is possible because the force pushes the spring back.

Types of compression springs.

I order to identify the different types of compression springs there are a number of considerations to make. For example, the end type, coiling method, wire diameter amongst others.

a] Convex compression springs.

Their main characteristic is that their cylindrical shape. Hence the reason why you also call them barrel springs. As a major consideration, the diameter of these springs usually varies at the center.

Whereby the springs have a larger diameter at the center in comparison to the ends. The diameter at either ends is usually the same.

In simpler words, they have a smaller outer diameter at the ends while their center has a larger one. Their unique design lets the springs fit into each other once they are under compression pressure.

b] Conical compression springs.

As the name suggests, they have a cone or tapered shape. The coil diameter varies from one end to the other. Whereby, one side has a wider diameter than the other end.

This shape allows the progressive fitting of one coil into the other one before it. Consequently, these springs are able to improve stability.

Further, they are able to withstand weight stress because the entire spring can compress into one diameter. Hence giving them more deflection.

c] Belleville or disc springs.

You get to experience their superiority when it comes to their ability of load force deflection. Apart from this, they occupy a small amount of space in the car’s suspension system.

In fact, you can connect two of these springs in order to achieve better force deflection. However, the design of their connection will depend on their sizes.

d] Concave springs.

They are also popular by the name hour-glass compression springs. Their diameter moves from being wide at the edges to narrow from either end to the center.

Their shape is very effective at eliminating buckling. Further, they occupy a small amount of space. In addition to this, their shape allows for uneven pressure distribution. Hence improving stability.

e] Straight coil springs.

Each coil from one end to the other has the same diameter. They are easy to manufacture and that is the reason why they are so popular.

f] Volute compression springs.

Do you remember the conical compression springs? The volute springs have the same operating principles as conical compression springs.

They have a con-shape coils which have a oval, square or round cross section. They handle weight force by sliding into each other to fit inside one diameter.

g] Variable pitch springs.

Their name comes from the varying coil spaces along the compression spring’s height. Whereby, they will be more spaced around some places and closer together in other spaces.

Their coil interval changes from one coil to the next. Further, the number of times this interval change occurs also varies along the spring’s length.

Comparison | Characteristics of compression springs.

These characteristics are some of the things that you need to consider when purchasing your helical springs. For example, when undertaking a suspension upgrade to your vehicle.

1. Compression spring end types.

This is a major characteristics that has four variations. There is the stock compression springs end types and there is the possibility of customization.

The factor of springs being open or close ended usually affects the spring rate. That is, if the number of coils, wire size or outside diameter are to remain the same amongst those springs.

Fascinating stuff!

Closed springs tend to have lesser spring buckling tendencies because they have enhanced squareness of the loading force. The other types of spring ends are inclusive of

  • Open ends.
  • Closed ends.
  • Ground ends.
  • Double closed ends.

2. Compression spring material.

Compression springs are made of some common materials like carbon steel and exotic alloys. Another common material is called music wire which is a high carbon steel.

The reason why the music wire is a common compression spring material is because it can withstand high amounts of tension. Hence providing longer car suspension spring lifespan.

Apart from withstanding compressions, the music wire material is able to resist stretching. Hence keeping the vehicle body frame in a stable condition as you drive over bumps.

Stainless steal alongside nickel alloys also create compression springs but their corrosive properties are not stronger than music wire.

This is a major consideration when purchasing a coil spring.

Common Characteristics of compression spring material

Other properties that these three compression spring materials have in common include;

a] Extremely low or high operating temperature.

This means that the materials we have just mentioned are able to withstand extreme temperatures. You can count on them to be operational during temperatures of as low as -153°C to as high as 982°C in Nickel metal.

b] Specialized corrosive conditions.

Corrosive conditions is a major property of compression spring materials. It means the capability to avoid car suspension spring problems that result from humidity, acidity or salt water amongst others.

c] Non-magnetic compression springs material property.

The materials that make up the compression springs for example copper metal, do not have a magnetic attraction. It is necessary to use such materials whereby there can be a chance of magnetic interruption.

3. Compression spring, physical properties.

There are some common physical characteristics of the different types of compression springs that someone needs to consider.

a] Outer diameter.

The compression spring’s outer diameter is one of the physical properties that need to be put into consideration. It is the measurement of the distance across the spring.

This measurement is taken across the widest area of the spring. Factors affecting this distance include measurement of wire thickness and the number of coils.

b] Inner diameter.

This is the distance between the spring’s coils that is measured at its center. It has to be put in consideration when a shock absorber or something else is supposed to pass in between the spring.

The inner diameter determines the size of what goes in between the coils. The larger the size of the diameter, the larger the size of what goes in between.

c] Spring length / height.

This is a physical property that considers the length of the distance from one end of the spring to the other. In fact, this is an important physical factor because it determines how the spring fits into the different types of suspension system.

Measuring of spring length takes place along the axis of the spring. Further, the number of coils affect spring height.

d] Spring material.

Above, you will find the number of materials that make the different types of compression springs. Further, you can understand the different properties that each material provides for the springs. For example corrosion resistance and non-magnetic properties.

4. Spring rates.

The spring rate is how much a spring will compress when under certain amounts of weight. Therefore, manufacturers can consider the number of times the spring will compress depending on the weight on it.

A number of factors that affect the spring rate include spring diameter, number of coils and material. If you exceed the spring rate, it may not re-expand to its normal set-up.

What are adjustable compression springs?

They are springs that can undergo changes in an attempt to alter their spring rate and load carrying capacity.

You may alter the spring’s distance in between the coils in an attempt to change the spring rate. Further, the other areas of an adjustable compression spring that you can change include the following;

  • Wire diameter.
  • Compression springs end.
  • Spring design by including removable springs that can be added or removed.
  • Distance between the coils.

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