Torsion Springs Vs. Extension Springs

Torsion Springs Vs. Extension Springs
Torsion Springs Vs. Extension Springs (Image:

Torsion Springs and extension springs are used in a wide variety of applications and devices. The main task of both kinds of spring is to supply flexible tension to help keep an object in place or to help equalize the distribution of force on an object. Without torsion and extension springs, several everyday objects and devices would not function as efficiently.

How a Torsion Spring Works

A torsion spring is a bendable object that has the ability to store energy mechanically when it is twisted. The force exerted on the spring is directly proportional to how far the spring will twist. There are two different types of torsion springs. One is called a torsion bar and that is a metal or rubber bar that gets twisted when force is applied to it. The second type is called a torsion fiber; it is a wire that flexes when force is applied to it.

How an Extension Spring Works

The way an extension spring works is based on distance. The further an extension spring is extended the more force there is on the spring. When an extension spring is not responsible for bearing a load it is fully compressed. When an extension spring is responsible for bearing a load it is considered uncompressed.

Where Torsion Springs Are Used

Torsion springs are used in a wide variety of applications. Clocks that work on a pendulum to support the wheel-shaped weight that helps operate the clock are torsion-spring-driven. They are also used in vehicles as parts of their suspensions to improve response on the road. Torsion springs can also be found in devices such as watches and video projectors.

Where Extension Springs Are Used

Devices in which the action of extension springs is often used include things such as doors, car seats and other devices where a retractable force is needed to keep a device in place. For instance, when a garage door is opened an extension spring is used in conjunction with a strong wire to keep the door open by providing the necessary tension on the wire. In a car seat, an extension spring supplies the tension necessary to hold the car seat in place.

Which Is Better?

Torsion springs and extension springs are equally useful. When people are manufacturing or designing a device they consider the properties of each, then make their decision based upon the principles of how each type of spring functions. Both torsion springs and extension springs are widely used.

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