In contrast to extension springs, the spiral wires in compression springs are not touching when in a relaxed position; instead they become tightly compressed when put under stress.
Compression springs can be made of various steel materials, including stainless steel, hard drawn steel, steel music wire and spring steel. In general, the larger the wire, the stronger the spring; compression springs with wider wire diameters can withstand more aggressive use than can thinner springs. Spring strength can also be enhanced by decreasing the coil diameter of the spring.
Compression springs are used to keep components from coming into contact with each other, and they can also be used to prevent objects from becoming too far apart from each other. They come in an array of sizes and can be specially ordered to fit dimensions for a custom design. Compression springs can be found in a variety of common products, including ball point pens, pogo sticks, car suspensions and mattresses.
Compression springs are some of the most common spring varieties. Other common varieties include torsion springs, like those used in mousetraps; clock springs, like those used in wall clocks, wrist watches and other kinds of clocks; and flat springs, which are applied in an extensive variety of contexts, which range from automotive manufacturing to furniture making.
Compressive springs are available in many shapes and sizes, and they can be composed of a wide range of materials. A compression spring’s composition is chosen based on its intended application. For example, a compression spring intended for use outdoors will likely be made of stainless steel.
Stainless steel is a good choice for such applications because of its resistance to corrosion even in the face of frequent exposure to moisture and chemicals. Steel is also strong; it can withstand frequent use without failing. Spring steel, non-alloy steel and even plastic can also be used in the construction of springs.
Choosing the appropriate material for spring composition is important; incorrectly pairing a spring with its application can cause premature failure, which can result in damage to nearby objects and, in some cases, injury to people. Correctly choosing a spring will maximize the spring’s effectiveness and lifespan.