Spiral springs are a sub-type of helical springs. These springs are rectangular metal strips, wounded flat around an axle. One side of the strip is connected with the axle, and the other is free. Spiral springs are used to store and release energy on the phenomenon of torque.
When the force is applied on the free end of the wounded coil, the spiral spring becomes active and stores energy. It then releases the energy when the applied force is removed.
Types of Spiral Springs
There are several applications of spiral springs. Before going into its application, here is a brief overview of its four types.
Power springs, also known as clock springs–are mostly used in clocks. These springs provide rotational energy to run the clocks. Power springs are best for high force output.
Hairsprings are evenly spaced and open wound springs. These tiny springs are heavily used in timing devices and different types of measuring devices.
Brush springs are also open wound springs used in electric motors and generators to apply pressure on carbon brushes.
Constant Force Springs:
These springs are designed to provide a constant load at a zero rate. Coils are wrapped tightly in a way that serves the purpose.
Applications of Spiral Springs
Spiral springs are utilized in several domains to store and release energy. Here are the three main applications of spiral springs
- Mechanical Watches
- Seat recliners
Spiral springs are an integral part of mechanical watches. Both constant force springs and hairsprings are utilized in watches to perform different operations. Constant force springs in a watch first store energy and then release it at a constant rate. This constant energy release keeps the clock mechanism in line.
On the other hand, hairsprings are a vital component of watches. These are mounted on the balance wheel that oscillates with the resonant frequency. By doing this, the wheel speed and rate of the movement of hands is controlled.
Spiral springs are used in toys for different purposes. A toy car launcher is an example of it. A spiral spring is fitted around an axle in a toy car. It stores energy when the toy car is pushed back. But, when the toy car is set free, it releases the stored energy and moves the car upfront.
Another example of spiral springs in toys is whirling and spinning tops. These spinning and whirling tops have a spiral spring along with the LEDs. When a top is twisted, the spiral spring inside the top rotates along with the axle and stores energy. Upon dropping it off, it releases the energy that enables the top to spin on the surface.
Spiral springs are also used in seat reclining. A spiral spring, linear spring, stabilizer plate, and a lever are used to enable seat reclining. The Spiral spring performs its basic function of storing and releasing energy that results in seat reclining.
These were the top applications of spiral springs. Apart from that, flat spiral springs are also used for measuring tapes.