Spring (device)

Helical or coil springs designed for tension
A heavy-duty helical spring designed for compression and tension
The English longbow – a simple but very powerful spring made of yew, measuring 2 m (6 ft 6 in) long, with a 470 N (105 lbf) draw force
Force (F) vs extension (s).[citation needed] Spring characteristics: (1) progressive, (2) linear, (3) degressive, (4) almost constant, (5) progressive with knee
A machined spring incorporates several features into one piece of bar stock
Military booby trap firing device from USSR (normally connected to a tripwire) showing spring-loaded firing pin

A spring is an elastic object that stores mechanical energy. Springs are typically made of spring steel. There are many spring designs. In everyday use, the term often refers to coil springs.

When a conventional spring, without stiffness variability features, is compressed or stretched from its resting position, it exerts an opposing force approximately proportional to its change in length (this approximation breaks down for larger deflections). The rate or spring constant of a spring is the change in the force it exerts, divided by the change in deflection of the spring. That is, it is the gradient of the force versus deflection curve. An extension or compression spring's rate is expressed in units of force divided by distance, for example or N/m or lbf/in. A torsion spring is a spring that works by twisting; when it is twisted about its axis by an angle, it produces a torque proportional to the angle. A torsion spring's rate is in units of torque divided by angle, such as N·m/rad or ft·lbf/degree. The inverse of spring rate is compliance, that is: if a spring has a rate of 10 N/mm, it has a compliance of 0.1 mm/N. The stiffness (or rate) of springs in parallel is additive, as is the compliance of springs in series.

Springs are made from a variety of elastic materials, the most common being spring steel. Small springs can be wound from pre-hardened stock, while larger ones are made from annealed steel and hardened after fabrication. Some non-ferrous metals are also used including phosphor bronze and titanium for parts requiring corrosion resistance and beryllium copper for springs carrying electrical current (because of its low electrical resistance).