Entering the world of spring selection can be challenging, especially if you aren't an engineer. This guide seeks to break down the complexities of this topic, focusing on the main factors such as the different types of springs, their materials, and how basic mechanics influence performance.

Understanding these factors can lead to confident decision-making. Consider the case of creating a garden gate. A poor choice in torsion spring could result in a gate that snaps back too quickly, posing a risk. With the information provided, you'll be able to strike the balance between force and longevity, picking a spring that achieves safe and predictable gate motion.

This guide clarifies the process of finding the right spring and informs you on how to buy wisely. Simply going for the most affordable spring doesn't mean it will meet your load capacity and life span requirements. Knowing how to find quality springs suitable for your project can prevent unexpected issues. This article is not a comprehensive textbook on spring selection, but a practical guide for common spring uses.

Understanding the Basics- Types, Materials and Mechanics of Springs:

Making an Informed Selection- Identifying Needs and Avoiding Common Mistakes:

The first step in the selection process of a spring is understanding your specific needs. The arguments for using one type of spring over another usually circle back to the application in question. For instance, an extension spring, defined by its capability to extend when a force is exerted, fits a trampoline design. Conversely, for a component in a car suspension that needs to absorb shocks, a coil spring would be more appropriate.

It may not be prudent to restrict the selection parameters to the material of the spring alone. Stainless steel might be an appealing choice due to its robustness and durability. However, one has to bear in mind that stainless steel springs can degrade when they make contact with water or are in environments with high humidity. In such scenarios, a spring made from galvanized steel, which is notably resistant to rust, could prove to be a superior option.

The technical parameters of a spring, including diameter, length, and wire size, play a substantial role in the overall performance of the spring. A larger wire diameter increases the rigidity of the spring and its load-bearing capacity, but at the expense of adding more weight. This additional weight could be an undesirable trait in applications where keeping weight minimal is a priority. Hence, these parameters need to match up with your specific needs when deciding on a spring.

Where and How to Purchase the Right Springs:

Begin the process of selecting a spring by determining where to purchase it. Options include a local hardware store, an online retailer, or a direct spring manufacturer. During this stage, accurately detail your specifications. For example, if you need a compression spring made of stainless steel for a device with a light load capacity, state this explicitly. Include exact measurements for the best result. Support your specification requirements with detailed examples or sketches if possible.

Evaluate the material of the spring to ensure it aligns with your design requirements. For instance, you may find springs made of phosphor bronze that offer increased resistance to corrosion. Bear in mind, springs made of steel, while offering less resistance to corrosion, may come at a lower cost.

When feasible, find out if the supplier offers additional services such as spring installation, maintenance, and support at the product's end of life. The availability of these services depends on the supplier. Such services can be beneficial, especially if you have little experience handling springs.


For non-engineers, the task of selecting springs may seem complex. However, grasping the fundamental concepts such as diverse types, materials, and purposes of springs can make the task manageable. Take for instance the design of a small robotic toy that needs a compression spring. You'll need to understand the spring constant - the quantity which signifies the force required to compress the spring. If the spring constant is excessively high, it could impede the toy's movement, and if it's insufficiently low, it may not supply the needed force.

Recognizing specific conditions of your application is another crucial factor in spring selection. If the spring will function in an environment characterized by high temperature or corrosion, a stainless steel spring could be a suitable selection due to its known resistance to heat and corrosion. This example illustrates why having detailed data related to your project is vital when choosing a spring.

Your spring supplier choice also impacts the adequacy of your springs. Trusted manufacturers supply high-precision springs. Some also offer the provision of custom spring designs to cater to specialized project needs. Even though these customized solutions might come at a higher cost compared to standard springs, they could turn out to be the necessary solution if standard springs cannot fulfill your requirements.