What Are Arc Springs?

Coil springs are used in a myriad of commercial and consumer applications. Consisting of a helical, coiled piece of metal, they are able to store mechanical energy under a load. You can find coil springs in automotive suspension systems, furniture, clocks, medical instruments and even ballpoint pens. While they all consist of coiled metal, however, there are different types of coil springs, such as arc springs.

Overview of Arc Springs

An arc spring is a type of coil spring that’s characterized by a curved shape. Unlike traditional helical springs, they aren’t straight; arc springs are curved. They are known as “arc springs” because they feature a curved, arc-like shape.

Most arc springs consist of segments that, when connected, form a continuous loop. Each segment is curved. This curved design allows the segments to distribute the load more evenly, thereby reducing the risk of failure.

Origins of Arc Springs

Arc springs were originally used in engine drive trains. Combustion gas engines feature a set of components that are responsible for transferring combustion energy to the vehicle’s wheels. Known as a drive train, it connects the vehicle’s engine to its wheels.

Today, arc springs continue to play an important role in automotive. In addition to drive trains, they are used in transmissions and clutches.

Benefits of Arc Springs

Arc springs are very durable. They are made of many of the same materials as other springs, such as stainless steel, high-carbon steel and zinc-plated steel. With their curved design, though, they can distribute loads more evenly than traditional springs, resulting in increased longevity.

Arc springs are also compact. they can fit into small and tight spaces. Even if a traditional spring is too big for a particular space, an arc spring may work.

Another benefit of arc springs is high energy density. Like all springs, they can store mechanical energy when exposed to a load. But arc springs are able to store more energy than their traditional counterparts.

What Is an Arc Spring Shell?

Many arc springs are used in conjunction with a separate component known as a “shell.” The shell is essentially a cap or covering that slides over an arc spring. It serves several purposes, one of which is to stabilize the arc spring and prevent it from deforming.

The shell also allows the arc spring to transmit torque. Arc springs require some type of support to transmit torque. Without support, they will buckle and deform. The shell will stabilize and hold the arc spring in place so that it can transmit torque to the part or parts to which it’s connected.

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