Helical springs are the most common type of springs we see and use in our lives. These are the cylindrical-shaped springs made by twisting steel wires. These wires may be close-wounded or open-wounded. Wires are folded around a specimen, and springs are made according to the needs. The spring stores mechanical energy. These springs can be made using electric materials such as steel.
Springs usually work on the same principles, i.e., load and extension. The greater the load, the more extension will be observed in the spring. Springs work on the principle of Hooke’s law. It states that the stress or force applied to the spring is directly proportional to the strain produced within the elastic limit.
However, there are different working mechanisms of different helical springs.
What is a helical spring?
Helical spring is the type of spring made up of a wire wound around a coil in the shape of a helix. The cross-section of spring wire may be of different forms. It can be either circular, square, or rectangular in shape.
Helical springs have wide application. These springs are used in almost every industry. We can also see these springs in household items. They are used in click pens, railway coaches, gyp equipment, mechanical keyboards, automobiles, and much more.
The working mechanism of the helical spring
Helical springs work according to the mechanism proposed by Hooke’s law. These are the simple springs, and they extend when the force or stress is applied to them. The stress applied is directly proportional to the strain produced within the electric limit.
If the stress exceeds the elastic limit of the spring, then it will deform the spring permanently. Now, the spring will not return to its original shape and remains distorted for eternity.
Fs = kx
Fs: Force applied
k: Spring constant
x: Spring stretch or compression
Hooke’s law is the first-order linear approximation to the natural response of the springs and other elastic materials. The law will fail once the force increases a certain limit because materials can withstand stress to a certain limit, and after that, they lose their shape or break. Many materials deviate from Hooke’s law even before they reach their elastic limits. That is why we cannot rely on this law all the time.
On the other hand, Hooke’s law is accurate for most solid materials because of their specific elastic limits. The solid bodies experience less deformation due to force. They have the ability to bounce back to their previous shape as soon as the force is removed. Helical springs are mostly made of metals such as steel. That is why Hooke’s law is a good criterion to measure their strength and viability in the practical world.
Helical springs are the most common type of springs. We can see these springs around us all the time. The working mechanism of these springs is not so complicated but delicate. Everyone can use and handle these springs with ease. They have great industrial and domestic applications.