Different Types of Springs and their Uses in CNC Machining(snap-fit Ernest)

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  • source:PERFSO CNC Machining

Springs play a crucial role in various industries, including the field of CNC machining. These mechanical devices are designed to store and release energy when subjected to external forces. They can be found in numerous applications, ranging from automotive components to aerospace systems. In this article, we will explore the different kinds of springs used in CNC machining and delve into their production processes.

1. Compression Springs:
Compression springs are one of the most common types of springs used in CNC machining. As the name suggests, they compress under load and return to their original shape once the force is removed. These springs are widely utilized in diverse applications where resistance to compressive forces is required. Examples include suspension systems, hydraulic valves, and robotic assembly lines.

To manufacture compression springs, specialized machines called spring coilers are used. These machines wind steel wire around a mandrel, applying tension while maintaining a controlled feed rate. The resulting helical-shaped coil is then cut to the desired length, annealed for stress relief, and treated with corrosion-resistant coatings if necessary.

2. Extension Springs:
Opposite to compression springs, extension springs expand or extend when pulled apart. They are commonly employed in applications that require resistance against tensile forces. For instance, extension springs can be found in garage doors, trampolines, and heavy-duty machinery.

The manufacturing process for extension springs involves transforming a long piece of metal wire into a tightly wound coil with hooks on each end. This allows the spring to attach to other components and stretch under applied tension. After forming the desired shape, the spring is heat-treated to enhance its durability and performance.

3. Torsion Springs:
Torsion springs operate by twisting or exerting torsional force upon application. Unlike compression and extension springs, torsion springs work along a rotary axis, making them ideal for applications such as door hinges, clipboards, and balance mechanisms. These springs provide a return force when twisted and help maintain equilibrium.

The production of torsion springs involves coiling wire in a specific manner to create the desired torque characteristics. This process is typically performed using CNC spring winding machines that can control parameters such as pitch diameter, number of coils, and leg length. After forming the coil shape, the spring is subjected to stress-relieving heat treatment to increase its resistance to fatigue.

4. Constant Force Springs:
Constant force springs are unique compared to other types of springs as they exert virtually uniform force throughout their entire range of motion. Their design allows for consistent tension force without variation, making them ideal for applications requiring smooth, continuous operation with minimal fluctuations. Examples include retractable tape measures, window blinds, and automotive seatbelts.

To produce constant force springs, flat metal strips are carefully coiled into tightly wound rolls, ensuring precise layering. These springs must be manufactured with extreme precision to achieve predictable performance. Additional steps such as heat treatment and surface finish coatings may also be employed based on the specific requirements of the application.


In conclusion, springs are essential components within CNC machining due to their ability to store and release energy under different forces. Compression springs resist compressive forces, extension springs withstand tensile forces, torsion springs twist and provide return force, and constant force springs offer steady tension throughout their movement range. Understanding the various types of springs used in CNC machining can help engineers select the appropriate spring for their specific application.

Overall, the production of springs involves specialized machinery and processes tailored to each type. By choosing the right kind of spring and properly manufacturing it, industries can ensure the efficiency and reliability of their CNC machining operations. CNC Milling