It’s Spring Time Part 2: Types of Springs

3 min read

As we have been introduced to springs, as promised, it is time to dive into the types of spring shapes and load-deflection characteristics. Learning about these characteristics can help you narrow down your design decision on the use of springs. To review the introduction to springs, click here. For a quick overview of the springs that MISUMI carries, click here.

Types of Springs Classified by Shape

(Classified by Shape)


Drawing No.

Coil Springs ·        Most popular and common springs.

·        Easy to produce, effective, inexpensive.

·        Provide various functions, including compression, tensile strength, and torsion.

·        Extension springs and compression springs fall in this classification

Torsion Springs ·        Torque is applied around the coil axis. The ends are bent at different angles and the center coil works to keep the part in place.

·        Designed to handle rotational force with angular output force

·        Torsional springs are used in clothes pins

Disc Springs ·        A disk containing a hole in the middle is processed into a conical shape, which is used for areas requiring constant load reaction at low volume.

·        Also called spring washers

·        Can be paired with a nut for fastening purposes

Fastener Springs ·        Springs in various shapes used for fastening.

·        The examples include spring washers, E-type retaining rings, and spring pins.

·        Retaining rings can be used on the retaining ring grove of a shaft

Flat Springs ·        A flat plate is processed into a shape that will deliver the intended spring functions.

·        The examples include points of contact, clamps, and tightening parts of piping joint.

Torsion Bars ·        A twist of the bar is applied for spring action.

·        Used as a stabilizer for automobiles.

·        It is also called torsion bar suspension.

·        Shaped like a bamboo shoot and used for shock absorption.


Besides shape, springs can be classified by the following categories:

  • Classification by materials (e.g. metal/non-metal)
  • Classification by the direction of forces applied to the spring (e.g. tensile, compression, torsion)
  • Classification by purpose (e.g. load substitution, shock absorption, vibrational relaxation, force accumulation)
  • Classification by operating environment

Application Examples

Here are a few application examples that use springs:

  • Suspension springs for jigs compatible with multiple models in varying load weight
  • Adjustment springs for inspection jigs involving manual labor
  • Auxiliary springs for weight reduction of parts such as covers
  • Compression springs designed to open/close a clamp quickly

Spring Load- Deflection Characteristics

 Different types of springs and spring combinations will have specific load-deflection results. Here we compare a few different types. Depending on your application requirements, choosing the correct spring type will be dependent on the load-deflection chart.

Since the degree of deformation by load can be corrected sensitively or insensitively for non-linear springs, you can be creative with how they are utilized. Below you will find representative examples of such springs with non-linear characteristics.

Combination springs

Multiple helical compression springs connected in series, this design can be used with different spring diameters.

Multiple helical compression springs stacked in combination, this design has springs within springs. This greatly increases the load capacity.

Spiral Springs

Hair spring (used for measuring gauges)

Disc Springs

Diaphragm Springs

Constant Force Spiral Springs

Note: The force opposition in the spiral spring example above.

Constant Force Springs

Extension springs have different ends to allow for easy mounting to components on each side and will have the characteristic of creating resistance to the pulling force.

Springs are a versatile component and can easily be adapted to your design. In the next post, we will review in depth helical/coil springs and Hooke’s law in relation to load-deflection. It will be an advanced dive into extension and compression springs. Stay tuned!

About the Author

Carlicia Layosa

Carlicia is the Marketing Automation Manager at MISUMI. She holds a bachelor's degree in Mechanical Engineering and a master's degree in Energy Engineering from the University of Illinois at Chicago. She is a Certified SOLIDWORKS Associate, Marketo Certified Expert, and is passionate about education and training.

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