A spring is a device that changes its shape under the action of an external force and returns to its original shape when the force is removed. The energy consumed when the spring is deformed is stored in the spring and can be restored when the spring returns to its original shape.
In general, the amount of shape change is directly related to the magnitude of the applied force. However, if too much force is applied, the spring will be permanently deformed and will never return to its original shape.
There are mainly the following types of springs. Among them, the most common one consists of filaments wound into a cylindrical or conical shape. A tension spring is a coil spring whose coils are usually in contact with each other.
When a force is applied to the tension spring, the coil separates. In contrast, compression springs are coil springs that have spaces between consecutive coils; when a force is applied to shorten the springs, the coils are squeezed together.
The third coil spring, called a torsion spring, causes the external force to twist the coil into a tighter spiral. Common examples of torsion springs appear in clipboards and butterfly hairpins.
Another variation of the coil spring is the watch spring, which is coiled into a flat spiral disk instead of a cylinder or cone. One end of the spring is located in the center of the spiral and the other end is located on the outer edge.
Some springs are not made of coils. The most common example is a leaf spring, which is shaped like a shallow arch and is commonly used in automotive suspension systems. The other type is a disc spring, a washer-like device that resembles a truncated cone. Open solid cylinders and elastic materials can also act as springs. Non-coil springs generally act as compression springs.
The spiral spring was developed at the beginning of the fifteenth century. By replacing the gravity system, using a spring mechanism to power the clock, watch manufacturers can make reliable portable timekeeping devices. This progress has made it possible for the accurate astronomy navigation of ocean-going ships.
In the eighteenth century, the industrial revolution promoted the development of large-scale production of spring technology. In the 1880s, the British locksmith used a spring winding machine in his factory. Obviously it is a lathe modified machine that replaces a cutting head with a row of wires. The wire on the reel is wrapped around a fixed bar on the lathe. The speed of the screw makes the reel parallel to the screw and can be adjusted to change the pitch of the spring coil.
The current examples of common use springs are small coils that support the keys on the touchpad of mobile phones, to huge coils that support the entire building and protect them from seismic vibrations.
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