Wire springs are an indispensable material used in a variety of applications and components. In fact, wire springs are used in just about every industry. Not only are springs found in countless products we use on a daily basis, but they are found in the machines that make the products. Some wire spring applications may be selected for its strength or durability, others for its water or corrosion resistance.
There are many wire spring designs to meet the many different applications required. The three most common springs are the compression spring, the extension or tension spring, and the torsion spring. They are found everywhere in diverse applications such as upholstery, mattresses, numerous vehicle parts, screen doors, clothespins, and garage doors. Yet, wire spring also has many other uses, if not that unusual they are certainly then interesting applications. Here are 8 of them:
No list of interesting wire spring applications would be complete without the iconic spring toy that Richard James invented back in 1943. The Slinky has entertained the young and young at heart for generations. Place a Slinky at the top of a staircase and watch the large helical spring casually step down a flight of stairs effortlessly.
The trampoline utilizes hundreds of hook-ended extension or tension springs by attaching the trampoline base material to the metal frame. The springs secure the base in place and provide it with the flexibility and bounce. The greater the number of springs used, the greater the bounce.
Though not as popular as they once were, the pinball machine is still found in nearly every arcade. The game begins when a spring-loaded plunger, a rod-like handle, is used to shoot the ball into the playfield. When the spring-loaded plunger became widespread in the mid-nineteenth century, pinball machines came into their own and have been evolving ever since.
Whether for taking an afternoon stroll through the park or grocery shopping, baby carriages are a popular form of transportation for infants. The familiar carriage relies on a spring suspension system. Flexible, light, and easy to handle, the springs provide a gentle bounce that allows the baby to sleep or rest comfortably in its carriage.
When the cold weather arrives, the mice will surely look for a warm place to live throughout the winter, a place such as your house. The bane of every household rodent, the mousetrap relies on a spring-loaded bar, a torsion spring, to quickly and effectively put an end to the common pest. Once the torsion spring is pulled back, the mousetrap stores the mechanical energy until the trap is released.
All aircraft have landing gears and springs are one of the most important components in what allows aircraft to land safely. The exertion of force in relation to an aircraft’s weight requires repeated impacts at high speed upon landing. To absorb these impacts, a strong, flexible, and durable material is needed to withstand the force. Without the flexibility that springs offer, the weight and force would cause the landing gear to break, and aircraft to crash.
If you have ever taken a ballpoint pen apart then you know what the single component that makes it retractable is—a compression spring. In the center of every retractable pen is a small compression spring that wraps around the ink cartridge.
The drum of every washing machine is suspended in position by springs. When the machine spins, and the drum revolves faster, springs hold the drum in position. Without the springs, the drum would bang around the inside of the machine and the washing machine would bounce around the laundry room.