A Quick Introduction to Torsion Springs

1 Nov, 2023

Unleashing Energy Through the Power of Rotation

 

In the world of mechanical engineering and design, springs play a pivotal role in a wide array of specialty and everyday applications, from automotive systems to industrial machinery, household objects to aerospace equipment. These ingenious devices are designed to store and release mechanical energy, transforming force and motion with remarkable efficiency.

Among the various types of springs, three distinct players take centre stage: torsion, compression, and extension. Each of these spring types possesses unique characteristics that cater to different mechanical demands, making them indispensable in their own right.

In this blog, we’ll focus specifically on torsion springs and explore what sets them apart amongst other mechanical springs. We’ll delve into their characteristics, how they efficiently store and release energy, and the diverse applications where they shine.

 

Main characteristics of torsion springs

Torsion springs derive their name from the torque they produce as a load output. These springs typically possess legs that apply the load at a certain distance from the spring’s axis. The legs are rotated around the principal axis, often in a direction where the number of coils increases, as they perform more effectively in this direction compared to the unwind direction.

Here’s a few of their main design characteristics:

Helical Shape: These springs are typically helically wound coils made from various materials, including steel, stainless steel, or even plastics. This helical shape is fundamental to their functionality and allows them to twist when torque is applied.

Torque-Resistant: Torsion springs are designed to resist rotational forces, commonly referred to as torque. This resistance allows them to return to their original position when the torque is removed, making them ideal for applications where rotational motion is needed.

Variable Wire Diameters: Torsion springs come in various sizes and configurations, with variable wire diameters, coil lengths, and angles of rotation. This versatility enables engineers to tailor them to the specific needs of their applications.

Left-Handed vs. Right-Handed: Torsion springs can be designed as left-handed or right-handed, depending on the direction of twist required for a particular application. This characteristic ensures they can be customised for a wide range of mechanical systems.

 

How torsion springs store and release energy

Torsion springs are ingenious devices when it comes to storing and releasing energy. They function based on Hooke’s law, which states that the torque or rotational force applied to the spring is directly proportional to the angular displacement produced.

Here’s how they work:

Rotating Action: When a torsion spring is rotated or twisted, it stores potential energy within its coil. The amount of energy stored depends on the degree of twist and the spring’s material properties.

Torque Application: In applications like doors, clipboards, or even automotive components, an external force (torque) is applied to the torsion spring, causing it to rotate in the opposite direction of the twist.

Energy Release: As the torsion spring unwinds, it releases the stored energy in the form of rotational motion. This energy can be harnessed to perform various tasks, such as closing a door or securing a clamp.

 

Common applications of torsion springs

These springs have an extensive range of applications across different industries due to their ability to store and release energy efficiently. Here are some common examples:

Garage Doors: Torsion springs are crucial components in garage doors. They help in lifting and lowering the door smoothly and efficiently.

Automotive Industry: Commonly used in various automotive parts, including levers, hinges and tailgates, where they assist in smooth transfer of weight in part movement or in returning pedals and latches to original resting positions when no force is applied.

Medical Devices: Many medical devices, such as surgical instruments and dental tools, utilise torsion springs to facilitate precise movements and operations.

Industrial Equipment: In machinery and industrial equipment, torsion springs provide the torque needed for functions like gripping, clamping, and controlling valves.

Home Appliances: Torsion springs are commonly found in appliances like washing machines, where they control the opening and closing of the door or lid.

Aerospace: The aerospace industry employs torsion springs in control systems for maintaining the position and orientation of aircraft components.

 

Conclusion

Torsion springs are versatile mechanical devices that play a vital role in various applications by storing and releasing energy through a twisting action. Their helical design, resistance to torque, and customizable characteristics make them invaluable components in industries ranging from automotive to aerospace. Understanding the main characteristics and functionality of torsion springs is crucial for engineers and designers looking to optimise their applications and machinery.

Get a quote for custom designed torsion springs

Marsh Alliance has been producing springs for 70 years, is Australia’s largest cold coil spring manufacturer and more recently has expanded its capabilities to offer a wide range of other fabricated metal products and finishings. Our dedicated customer support team is always available to address your queries, offer technical guidance, and provide personalised assistance at every stage of the process.

Please feel free to give us a call on 07 3271 3500 or click here to get in touch.