The Beginner’s Guide to Extension Springs


Extension spring by Monroe Engineering

When shopping for springs, you may come across extension springs. They are mechanical devices that, like all springs, are designed to store mechanical energy. Extension springs are found in everything from automobiles and machines to furniture, household appliances and more. For a better understanding of extension springs and how they work, keep reading.

What Are Extension Springs?

Also known as tension springs, extension springs are characterized by their ability to create a pulling force. They typically consist of a single piece of coiled metal. On each end of an extension spring is a loop. You can connect these loops to objects. And as the objects attempt to pull away, the extension spring will create a pulling force.

There are different types of extension springs. Some of them are made of stainless steel, whereas others are made of carbon steel or even aluminum. Regardless, they all feature the same basic design. As shown in the photo above, extension springs are coiled pieces of metal with a loop on each end. This design allows them to create a pulling force when connected to two objects.

How Extension Springs Work

In their default state — meaning no load is applied to them — extension springs are compact. The metal wire from which they are made is pressed together to form a compact coil. Extension springs, however, will become longer when exposed to a load.

The objects to which an extension spring is connected will apply a load. Extension springs are used in applications where objects pull away. You can connect an object to each end of an extension spring. And as the objects attempt to pull away, the extension spring will create its own pulling force

There are compression springs as well. While compression springs may look like extension springs, they operate in an entirely different way. Compression springs are designed to create a compressive force, meaning they become shorter when exposed to a load. In comparison, extension springs create a pulling force that makes them longer when exposed to a load.

In Conclusion

There are different types of springs, one of the most common of which is extension. Extension springs are traditional springs that create a pulling force. They are made of a single piece of coiled metal that becomes longer when exposed to a load. As the objects to which an extension spring attempt to pull away, the extension spring will become longer while simultaneously pulling them form the ends.

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