Extension & Compression Springs: What’s the Difference?

Springs are used in many things, but there are a few different kinds of springs that are used for different projects. Each spring has a specific purpose to maximize its potential. Even though both kinds of springs look similar, with a coil spring that is devised for elasticity and strength, they are designed to do different things. Both kinds of springs can be made from many different materials, including copper alloy, titanium alloy, cold drawn steel, stainless steel, and cold rolled steel.

How Are Compression & Extension Springs Used?

The primary function of extension springs, also known as tension springs, is to allow an outside force to create “tension”, then use energy to pull components back together. Conversely, compression springs are designed to keep components apart. To simplify it a bit, compression springs are those coiled things that you may see in a broken chair or torn mattress.

Extension springs can be used in a wide range of industries, including rail, agriculture, oil, and gas. Extension springs are also popular in the medical industry and are used in stretchers and surgical lights.

tension springs

The Most Common Type of Spring Is…

Compression springs are the most common type of spring that is used in our daily lives. Compression springs are in two things that we use every day – cell phones and mattresses.

shock absorber compression spring

Like extension springs, compression springs are also used within several different industries, such as the electric industry and automobile industry. Furthermore, compression springs are used in railways, valves, screen doors, and retractable ballpoint pens. So the next time you open your screen door or use a retractable pen to sign a document, think about the application of the compression springs and how the components are pressing to make the spring operate in the pen and screen door.

When it comes to the automobile industry, compression springs are used to absorb mechanical energy in the suspension springs of a vehicle and vibration dampers. These springs also apply force and control motion when stepping on the brakes or downshifting in a manual transmission car.

Whatever kind of project you are working on requiring compression or extension springs, the highly experienced staff at Ajax Springs Specialty Co Inc. are happy to advise you on materials and the best match spring for your specific needs. Call us today (708) 629-0921.

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