Spring Term Glossary
Active Coils: the coils of the spring which store and release energy. The active springs in a compression spring will expand when a spring is compressed.
Deflection: the motion of a spring’s ends or arms after an external load is applied or removed. It is essentially the motion of the spring.
Free Length: the length of a compression spring at rest (when no load is applied to it).
Helix: the spiral form or shape of a spring. Applies to compression, extension and torsion springs.
Hooks: the open ends of an extension spring.
Initial Tension: the force that keeps the coils of an extension spring closed. A certain load must be applied to them to cause the coils to separate.
Load: the force applied to a spring that causes a deflection.
Loops: the shape of the wires at the ends of extension springs (where loads are attached).
Total Coils: the amount of coils that a spring has. The total number of coils (and active coils) determines how much stress the spring can take.
Wire Diameter: the size of the wire used in springs. The thicker the wire, the stronger the spring will be.
Rate: measured in lbs/in. It is the change in load per unit deflection.
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