Wednesday, 29 May 2024

Springs and Shock Absorption

Springs have many useful applications and are found in many different things, including devices that use batteries, mattresses, cars, engines and more. There are also many different kinds of springs like torsion springs, compression springs and expansion springs. If you have ever been in a physics or dynamics class, then springs were probably mentioned in the context of calculations or examples. They store mechanical energy, specifically potential energy. One area springs are commonly utilized in is shock absorption. Here is a brief intro to the function of springs in shock absorption. 

How Do Springs Absorb Shock?

As mentioned earlier, springs store energy. They are also capable of acting as shock absorbers by absorbing energy. This is because work is done on springs when they are pressed down or stretched out, and the springs convert some of the kinetic energy from this work to potential energy and store it.

What Type of Spring Is Used for Shock Absorption?

Not all assemblies that use shock absorbers have spring-based ones, but those that do usually use coil springs or leaf springs. Coil springs are helical, tightly wound springs that may also be used as torsion springs; these springs are the type of springs seen in everyday use and can be found in many different industries and aspects of life. Leaf springs are often found in vehicle suspension systems; they are formed of slightly upward curved strips of metal stacked on top of each other.

What Are Some Uses?

So what are some examples of springs being used for shock absorption in devices? Cars, as already discussed, use springs for shock absorption, though as part of an assembly, not by themselves. In fact, spring-based shock absorption systems are found most commonly in automobiles. Shock reducing casters on carts, dollies and chairs is another example. 

The way springs work in shock absorber systems is more complicated than presented here, but these are the basics. Springs by themselves do not function as the best shock absorbers, but as part of a shock absorber assembly, they perform well.