Skip to Main Content
Home / Blog / Design / What is a Torsion Spring?

What is a Torsion Spring?

Torsion springs are designed to store and release rotational energy. While extension springs and compression springs work with pushing and pulling type forces, torsion springs operate with a twisting force. A characteristic of torsion springs is that they reduce in body diameter and increase slightly in body length when diverted in the direction of the wind. This type of spring can hold a mechanism in place by positioning the legs across the centerline axis. In creating torsion springs, the direction of the wind will depend on whether the torsion spring need to operate in a clockwise (left hand wound) or counter-clockwise (right hand wound) rotation for a specific application.

Common functions of torsion springs include use as hinges, counterbalances and lever returns. In the design of torsion springs, load is applied in the direction of wind. As torsion springs wind up, they decrease in diameter and their body length becomes longer, a factor that must be considered when design space is constrained. The support of a rod or tube through the inside diameter of the spring will facilitate the best torsion spring performance.

Torsion springs are made in a variety of sizes for many applications. Some of the most widely known applications are the large torsion springs found in garage door operation, and the small torsion springs used in clothes pins. Torsion springs vary in terms of torque generation, with forces ranging from mild to very strong.

Torsion springs can be made from any type of spring steel, such as stainless steel, music wire, hard drawn, oil tempered, and many more. No matter the material, torsion springs, by design, are able to return to their original position once rotated a safe degree of deflection. However, that capability does diminish if the spring is rotated too far or what spring manufacturers call “overstressed”. This is why It is important to source torsion springs from an experienced manufacturer to assure proper design and superior quality to meet the required performance.

W.B. Jones has over 100 years’ experience providing quality torsion springs, both stock and custom to meet your needs.

Share this

Speak with a spring specialist today.