A coil spring, also known as a helical spring, is a mechanical device, which is typically used to store energy due to resilience and subsequently release it, to absorb shock, or to maintain a force between contacting surfaces. They are made of an elastic material formed into the shape of a helix which returns to its natural length when unloaded.
One type of coil spring is a torsion spring: the material of the spring acts in torsion when the spring is compressed or extended. The quality of spring is judged from the energy it can absorb. the spring which is capable of absorbing the greatest amount of energy for the given stress is the best one. Metal coil springs are made by winding a wire around a shaped former - a cylinder is used to form cylindrical coil springs.
Types of coil spring are:
- Tension/extension coil springs, designed to resist stretching. They usually have a hook or eye form at each end for attachment.
- Compression coil springs, designed to resist being compressed. A typical use for compression coil springs is in car suspension systems.
- Torsion springs, designed to resist twisting actions. Often associated to clothes pegs or up-and-over garage doors.
Coil springs have many applications; notable ones include:
- Buckling springs in computer keyboards
- Mattress coils in innerspring mattresses
- Upholstery coil springs in upholstery
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