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Massimiliano Avalle

Massimo Rossetto

Politecnico di Torino
Dipartimento di Meccanica

Springs

Outline
• Spring characteristic
• Types of spring (Italian: molla, German: feder)





Torsion bar (or torsion spring, barra di torsione)
Helical spring (or coil spring, molla ad elica cilindrica)
Leaf spring (or laminated spring, molla a lamina & molla a balestra)
Belleville spring (or spring washer, molla a tazza or molla Belleville)
Spiral torsion spring (or hairspring or balance spring, molla a spirale)
Compression spring and other types

• Spring systems
• Usage of springs

Fundamentals of Machine Design and Drawing

1

Massimiliano Avalle
Massimo Rossetto

Politecnico di Torino
Dipartimento di Meccanica

Main Types of Springs

Torsion bar

Leaf spring

Helical spring for
compression

Belleville
spring

Helical spring for
tension

Compression spring

Spiral torsion spring

Volute spring

Examples of Spring Applications
Suspension Systems

Helical spring (in a multilink
car suspension)

Fundamentals of Machine Design and Drawing

Leaf spring (in a heavy
vehicle suspension)

2

Massimiliano Avalle
Massimo Rossetto

Politecnico di Torino
Dipartimento di Meccanica

What are Springs?
• Springs are elastic members that exert forces or torques and
absorb energy (elastic potential energy) which is usually
stored and later released
• Springs are characterized by their capacity to be subjected to
very large elastic deformations under the action of external
loads
• Applications are various:



Absorb shocks and impact, and instantaneous overloads
Store (elastic) energy
Connect parts
Used as the sensing element in transducers of forces (load cells),
acceleration (accelerometers) and other quantities

Spring Rate
• It is the relation between force and displacement (or momentrotation)
• The characteristic parameter is the elastic constant or spring
stiffness k:
– F (M)
– f (ϑ)
– k (kT)

F=k×f
M = kT × ϑ
Force (Moment)
Displacement (or deflection) (Rotation)
Stiffness (Stiffness)

(N) (N m)
(m) (rad)
(N/m) (N m/rad)

• For the case of linear characteristic, the stored energy is:
W = ½ F × f = ½ k f² = ½ F² / k
F
• (it is the area under the characteristic,
stress-strain curve)
f

Fundamentals of Machine Design and Drawing

3

Massimiliano Avalle
Massimo Rossetto

Politecnico di Torino
Dipartimento di Meccanica

Spring Rate
Different Characteristics
• The characteristic can be of type:
– Linear
– Hardening
– Softening

hardening

F (M)

linear

softening

f (θ )

Torsion Springs
Torsion Bar

τ max =
θ=

Mt
Fr
= 3
wt πd 16

Support, to
remove
bending

clamp

d

M tl
Frl
=
GI p G πd 4 32

32 Fr l
πd 4G
F πGd 4
E
, G=
k= =
2
2(1 + ν )
f 32r l
f = θr =

r
θ

2

Mt

Fundamentals of Machine Design and Drawing

rigid
arm

F

l
f

4

Massimiliano Avalle
Massimo Rossetto

Politecnico di Torino
Dipartimento di Meccanica

Torsion Springs
Torsion Bar
• Torsion load (torque) is applied by means of a spline
• A wide fillet radius is necessary to avoid stress concentration
in the diameter variation
Torsion bar with splines at
the ends (type used in
automotive suspensions)
Spline
Wide fillet radius

Spline

Citroën Traction Avant
(1935)

Torsion Springs
Torsion Bar
• Other solutions for the ends of torsion bars

• Typical configuration of a torsion bar
• Length AB works in torsion but
is also subjected to bending
• The supports make the system
hyperstatic reducing deflection

Fundamentals of Machine Design and Drawing

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Massimiliano Avalle
Massimo Rossetto

Politecnico di Torino
Dipartimento di Meccanica

Helical Springs
Definitions
• They can be considered as torsion bars
helically wound around a cylinder of
diameter D = 2 r
• According to the direction of the load,
they are improperly called:

α

p

– Tension Helical Springs
– Compression Helical Springs

L0

• Spring deformation is mainly due to
torsion of the wire (like in torsion bar)
• Transverse shear and wire curvature are
taken into account by means of correction
coefficients applied to formulas
equivalent to the torsion bar

r

Helical Springs
Loads Acting on the Wire
• Load on the
wire

V

N

M
N
F

V

• Definitions

Leq =
C=
N

πD
N ≈ πDN equivalent length
cos α

D
d

D
D
≈F
2
2
V = F cos α ≈ F
D
M = F sin α ≈ 0
2
N = F sin α ≈ 0
T = F cos α

spring index (typically 6 - 12)
number of effective coils (excluding inactive ones)

Fundamentals of Machine Design and Drawing

6

Massimiliano Avalle
Massimo Rossetto

Politecnico di Torino
Dipartimento di Meccanica

Helical Springs
Formulas
• Corrections to the torsion bar formulas:
Fr
8 FD
8 FC
= KW
= KW
3
3
πd 16
πd
πd 2

τ max = KW
f = KW '

Fr 2 Leq

πd G 32
4

= KW '

8 FD 3 N
8 FC 3 N
= KW '
4
Gd
Gd

• For 6 ≤ C ≤ 12:
4c − 1 0.615
+
(Wahl factor)
KW ' = 1
C
4c − 4
• For C < 6 the spring is too rigid and the material overstressed
• For C > 12 the spring is too compliant and the material poorly
used
KW =

Helical Springs
Formulas
KW =

4c − 1 0.615
+
C
4c − 4

(Wahl factor)

KW ' = 1

1.8
1.7
1.6

Kw
Kw’

Kw, Kw’

1.5
1.4
1.3
1.2
1.1
1
0.9
2

3

4

5

6

7

8

9

10

C=D/d

Fundamentals of Machine Design and Drawing

Renato Giovannozzi “Costruzione
di Macchine”, Vol. 1

7

Massimiliano Avalle
Massimo Rossetto

Politecnico di Torino
Dipartimento di Meccanica

Helical Springs
Meaning of Correction Factors

Torsion
Torsion bar,
bar, with
with straight
straight axis
axis

• Corrections due to curvature:

τ max,tors =

4c − 1 F ( D / 2 )
4c − 4 πd 3 16

τ max,tors = 1.23

Torsion bar, with curvilinear axis

F
0.615 F (D / 2 )
=
2
πd 4
C πd 3 16

Helical Springs
Effective Coils Number
• For a given value of the stiffness k the required effective
number of coils N can be obtained from the force-deflection
relation:
8 FC 3 N F
f = KW '
=
Gd
k

k=

Gd
8 KW ' C 3 N

• Since for 6 ≤ C ≤ 12 the Wahl factor KW’ for deflection is
negligible (≈1):

k=

Gd
8C 3 N

N=

Fundamentals of Machine Design and Drawing

Gd
8C 3 k

8

Massimiliano Avalle
Massimo Rossetto

Politecnico di Torino
Dipartimento di Meccanica

Helical Springs
Spring Lengths

Helical Springs
Spring Lengths
• The (linear) elastic spring action must hold even at the
maximum design load
• To this aim, it is necessary not to bring the spring to its solid
height when all coils are packed together
• This is obtained by assuring that a minimum clearance
remains between each couple of coils:

LF max ≥ LS + g res i

g res ≈

d
4

Residual clearance
between active coils

• Notice that when the length at maximum load LFmax and the
deflection fmax are defined, the free length L0 is determined
and, consequently, the pitch p

Fundamentals of Machine Design and Drawing

9

Massimiliano Avalle
Massimo Rossetto

Politecnico di Torino
Dipartimento di Meccanica

Helical Springs
Length under the Action of the External Load

Fmax

Fs

i gres

Δf

LFmin

LFmax

Ls

Fmin

L0

Given d, i & k

Materials for Springs
Static Verification: Cold Formed Springs

τ nom = KW

8 FD
≤ τ adm
πd 3

τ adm = 0.5 Rm

Data from DIN 17223
Tempered Steels

d (mm)

Rm (MPa)

1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10

High-strength Tempered Valve spring
non alloy steel spring steels
steels
2266
1766
1668
2021
1619
1521
1825
1521
1432
1697
1481
1403
1599
1403
1344
1521
1403
1344
1452
1364
1305
1403
1295
1354
1295
1324
1256
-

Fundamentals of Machine Design and Drawing

10

Massimiliano Avalle
Massimo Rossetto

Politecnico di Torino
Dipartimento di Meccanica

Materials for Springs
Static Verification: Hot Formed Springs

τ nom = KW
τ adm = 0.9

8 FD
≤ τ adm
πd 3
R p 0.2
3

Data from DIN 2076

Material

Rm (MPa)

Rp0.2 (MPa)

A%

C40
C60
C70
C75
C90
C100
50Si7
55Si8
60SiCr8
50CrV4
52SiCrNi8

1200-1550
1250-1550
1300-1600
1350-1600
1350-1650
1350-1650
1300-1600
1400-1700
1500-1750
1400-1700
1600-1850

1050
1050
1050
1050
1100
1100
1150
1250
1350
1250
1350

8
6
5
5
4
4
7
5
5
6
5

Materials for Springs
High-carbon and Alloy Spring Steels
Table 10-4
Constants A and m of Sut = A / dm for estimating minimum tensile strength of common spring wires
Source: Design Handbook, 1987, p. 19, Associated Spring.

Material

ASTM
No.

Exponent
m

Diameter (mm)
minimum

A,
Relative Cost of
m
wire
maximum MPa mm

Music wire

A228

0.145

0.1

6.5

2211

2.6

OQ&T wire

A229

0.187

0.5

12.7

1855

1.3

Hard-drawn wire

A227

0.190

0.7

12.7

1783

1.0

Chrome-vanadium wire

A232

0.168

0.8

11.1

2005

3.1
4.0

Chrome-silicon wire

A401

0.108

1.6

9.5

1974

302 Stainless Wire

A313

0.146

0.3

2.5

1867

0.263

2.5

5

2065
2911

Phosphor-bronze wire

B159

0.478

5

10

0

0.1

0.6

926

0.028

0.6

2

913

0.064

2

7.5

932

Fundamentals of Machine Design and Drawing

7.6-11.0

8.0

11

Massimiliano Avalle
Massimo Rossetto

Politecnico di Torino
Dipartimento di Meccanica

Materials for Springs
High-carbon and Alloy Spring Steels
Table 10.4
Graphical representation of data from the previous table

Minimum Tensile Strength (MPa)

3500
3000
2500
A228
A229

2000

A227
1500

A232
A401

1000

A313
B159

500
0
0

5
10
Wire diameter, d (mm)

15

Materials for Springs
High-carbon and Alloy Spring Steels
From DIN 17223:1984

Tensile Strength (MPa)

3000
2500
2000
Grade A

1500

Grade B
Grades C & D

1000
500
0
0

5

10
15
Wire diameter, d (mm)

Fundamentals of Machine Design and Drawing

20

25

12

Massimiliano Avalle
Massimo Rossetto

Politecnico di Torino
Dipartimento di Meccanica

Materials for Springs
Steels and other Materials
Table 10-5
Material Properties of
some Spring Wires

Elastic Limit,
Percent of Sut

Material

Tension

Torsion

Music wire A228

65-75

45-60

Hard-drawn wire A227

60-70

45-55

85-90

45-50

Oil Tempered A239
Valve spring steel A230
Chrome-vanadium wire A231
Chrome-vanadium wire A232
Chrome-silicon wire A401
Stainless Steels
A313
17-7PH
414
420
431
Phosphor-bronze wire B159
Beryllium-copper B197
Inconel alloy X-750

Diameter
(mm)
<0.8
0.8-1.6
1.61-3
>3
<0.8
0.8-1.6
1.61-3
>3

E (GPa)

G (GPa)
82.7
81.7
81
80
80.7
80
79.3
78.6
77.2
77.2
77.2
77.2
77.2
69
75.8
77.2
77.2
79.3
41.4
44.8
50.3
77.2

88-93

65-75

85-93

65-75

203.4
200
196.5
193
198.6
197.9
197.2
196.5
196.5
203.4
203.4
203.4
203.4

65-75
75-80
65-70
65-75
72-76
75-180
70
75
65-70

45-55
55-60
42-55
45-55
50-55
45-50
50
50-55
40-45

193
208.4
200
200
206
103.4
117.2
131
213.7

Materials for Springs
Steels and other Materials
Table 10-6
Maximum Allowable Torsional Stresses for Helical
Compression Springs in Static Applications

Material

Maximum Percent of Tensile Strength
Before Set Removed
After Set Removed
(includes KS)
(includes KW or KB)

Music wire and colddrawn carbon steel

45

60–70

Hardened and tempered
carbon and low-alloy steel

50

65–75

Austenitic stainless steel

35

55–65

Nonferrous alloys

35

55–65

Fundamentals of Machine Design and Drawing

13

Massimiliano Avalle
Massimo Rossetto

Politecnico di Torino
Dipartimento di Meccanica

Materials for Springs
Fatigue Verifications
• Fatigue verification follows general procedures
0.8

0.72 Estimated Haigh Diagram

0.7

τa / Rm

0.6

Cycles

0.54

0.5

103
104
105
106

0.39

0.4
0.3

0.29

0.2
0.1
0
0

Please note that:

0.2

0.4

τD-1 ≈ 0.58 σD-1 (σD-1 ≈ 0.5 Rm ) = 0.29…

0.6
0.8
τm / Rm

1

Materials for Springs
Fatigue Behavior: Effect of Surface Treatments
• Fatigue strength depends strongly on the production process and surface
treatments
800
• Shot-peening strongly
affects fatigue strength

τa (MPa)

600

400

200

(345, 345)
(255,255)
Infinite life without
shot-peening

0
0

Fundamentals of Machine Design and Drawing

200

400

Infinite life with
shot-peening

862

600
800
τm (MPa)

965

1000

14

Massimiliano Avalle
Massimo Rossetto

Politecnico di Torino
Dipartimento di Meccanica

Fatigue Verification according to DIN 17223:2010
Cold Formed Helical Springs
• The verification is on the basis of an admissible stress amplitude:

Δτ nom = KW ΔF
• With:

8D
≤ Δτ adm
πd 3

Δτ adm = bd Δτ 0 − btτ min
ΔF = Fmax − Fmin
8Fmin D
πd 3
4C − 1 0.615
+
Wahl factor
KW =
4C − 4
C
Δτ 0 Tabulated limit value

τ min = K s

bd , bt

Tabulated coefficients

KS = 1+

0.5 2C + 1
=
Shear - stress correction factor (10 - 4) Shigley
2C
C

Fatigue Verification according to DIN 17223:2010
Cold Formed Helical Springs

Δτ nom = KW ΔF

Δτ₀ (MPa)

d (mm)
1-5
6
7
8
10
12
14
17

8D
≤ Δτ adm
πd 3

Δτ adm = bd Δτ 0 − bττ min

High-strength Tempered spring
non alloy steel
steels
shot
shot
peened
peened
390
490
315
410
0.22
0.2
0.2
0.18
bd
1
1
0.95
1
0.91
0.97
0.88
0.92
0.83
0.89
0.78
1.89
0.75
2.89
0.69
-

Fundamentals of Machine Design and Drawing

Valve spring
steels
shot
peened
450
570
0.27
0.26
1
1
0.97
-

15

Massimiliano Avalle
Massimo Rossetto

Politecnico di Torino
Dipartimento di Meccanica

Fatigue Verification according to DIN 17221:1988
Hot Formed Helical Springs

8D
≤ Δτ adm
πd 3
Tabulated limit value for pulsating fatigue (Fmin = 0)

Δτ nom = K w ΔF

Δτ adm

ΔF = Fmax − Fmin
KW =

4C − 1 0.615
+
C
4C − 4

Wahl factor

Laminated steel

Rectified steel

120
110
100
90
80

Δτadm (MPa)
320
290
260
230
200

d (mm)
10
20
30
40
50

Shot-peened
rectified steel
380
345
310
275
240

Cylindrical Helical Springs
Instability (ingobbamento)
• In helical springs in compression without lateral support
there is a critical load giving instability, equal to:

C2' 
'
Fcrit = kycr = kL0C1 1 − 1 − 2 = kL0 K L

λeff 


Fcrit
C2' 
'
ycr =
= L0C1 1 − 1 − 2 = L0 K L

k
λeff 

• Where is:
L
effective slenderness ratio
λeff = α 0
D
1 +ν
E
=
C1' =
2(E − G ) 1 + 2ν
2π (E − G )
1 + 2ν
=π2
2G + E
2 +ν

(10-10)

(10-11)

2

C2' =

Fundamentals of Machine Design and Drawing

16

Massimiliano Avalle
Massimo Rossetto

Politecnico di Torino
Dipartimento di Meccanica

Cylindrical Helical Springs
Instability (ingobbamento)
• For the validity of the equation (1) it is necessary that
the argument is positive:

F
C' 
(10-10)
ycr = crit = L0C1' 1 − 1 − 22  = L0 K L


λ
k
eff


• Absolute stability occurs when C2’ / λ2eff is greater than
unity. This means that the condition for absolute stability
is that:
L0 π (E − G ) π 1 + 2ν
(10-12)
<
=
D α 2G + E α 2 + ν
Table 10-2
End condition
constant α for helical
compression springs

End condition

Constant α

Spring supported between flat parallel surfaces (fixed ends)
One end supported by flat surface perpendicular to spring axis
(fixed), other end pivoted (hinged)

0.5
0.707

Both ends pivoted (hinged)

1

One end clamped, other end free

2

Cylindrical Helical Springs
Instability (ingobbamento)
• Critical load giving instability, equal to:

Fcrit = kL0 K L
• Practical values

L0 / D
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8

Free ends (pivoted,
Clamped ends
or hinged)
KL
0.72
0.72
0.63
0.71
0.38
0.68
0.20
0.63
0.11
0.53
0.07
0.38
0.05
0.26
0.04
0.19

Fundamentals of Machine Design and Drawing

17

Massimiliano Avalle
Massimo Rossetto

Politecnico di Torino
Dipartimento di Meccanica

Cylindrical Helical Springs
Resonance (sfarfallamento)
• It occurs when a spring is subjected to alternate loads at a
frequency near the resonance frequency (frequenza propria)
of the spring itself:
gk
m gk
f m,spring =
m = 1,2,3...
W
2 W
• We are interested in the first frequency (Hz = 1/s):

ωm,spring = mπ

d
G
1 gk
=
(10-25)
2
2 W πD N 8 ρ
• To avoid this problem, the spring resonance frequency must
be more than 15-20 times the frequency of the load
f1,spring =

f1,spring ≥ (15 − 20 ) f load
• Note: the angular frequency ω (rad/s) is: ω = 2 π f = 2 π / T
(with T period, in seconds; f frequency in hertz, Hz = 1/s)

Helical Springs
Design Procedure
• It is an iterative process
• Usually, these data are known:

Tentative
choice

– Size of the seat ≈ D
– Deflection fmax and maximum load Fmax
– Sometimes maximum length LF,max

1) Compute the Stiffness: k =

modifications

No

ΔF Fmax
=
Δf
f max

verification
Ok
Stop

2) Chose a standard wire diameter (D / 12 < d < D / 7),
a material (Rm, Rp0.2), and a forming method
3) Compute C = D / d
4) Compute the maximum static stress:

τ max = KW

8 Fmax D
8F C
= KW max2
3
πd
πd

Fundamentals of Machine Design and Drawing

18

Massimiliano Avalle
Massimo Rossetto

Politecnico di Torino
Dipartimento di Meccanica

Helical Springs
Design Procedure
5) Perform static check:

Tentative
choice

If negative change d or the material
and come back to 3)

6) Perform fatigue check (if necessary):

If negative change d or the material
and come back to 3)

modifications

verification

No

Gd

Ok

7) Compute the effective number of coils: N =
Stop
8C 3 k
8) Compute the solid length Ls
9) Compute the length under maximum load (or the residual clearance):
LF max ≥ Ls + Ng res
10) Compute the free length (F = 0): L0 = LF max + f max

11) Check resonance frequency (if necessary)
12) Check instability (if necessary)

Spring Systems
Springs in Parallel
• Springs in parallel have the same deflection:
F1 = k1 f1 , F2 = k 2 f 2

F

f = f1 = f 2 , F = F1 + F2

F = (k1 + k 2 ) f = kf
k = k1 + k 2

f

Equivalent stiffness
spring 1

• The stiffness of a system of m
springs in parallel is given by:

spring 2

m

k =  ki
i =1

Fundamentals of Machine Design and Drawing

19

Massimiliano Avalle
Massimo Rossetto

Politecnico di Torino
Dipartimento di Meccanica

Spring Systems
Springs in Series
• Springs in series have the same applied load:
F1 = k1 f1 , F2 = k 2 f 2
f = f1 + f 2 , F = F1 = F2
F
F F 1 1
f = 1 + 2 =  +  F =
k
k1 k1  k1 k 2 
1 1 1
Equivalent stiffness
= +
k k1 k 2

• The stiffness of a system of m
springs in parallel is given by:

F

f

spring 1

spring 2

1 m 1
=
k i =1 ki

Helical Springs
Extension Springs
• The critical point is the hook (bending+torsion)
• Small curvature radii bring high stress concentrations

Figure 10-6
Types of ends used
on extension springs
Figure 10-7
Ends for extension springs. (a) Usual design; stress at A is due to the
combined axial force and bending moment. (b) side view of part a, stress is
mostly torsion at B; (c) improved design; stress at A is due to combined axial
force and bending moment. (d) Side view of part c; stress at B is mostly torsion

Fundamentals of Machine Design and Drawing

20

Massimiliano Avalle
Massimo Rossetto

Politecnico di Torino
Dipartimento di Meccanica

Helical Springs
Extension Springs
• Extension spring are made with the coils in contact and preloaded during
construction. They require an initial force F0 before deformation occurs.
Usually F0 is chosen to have an internal stress of τi ≈ 15 MPa:

Fi =

πd 2

τi =

πd 3

τi

8C
8D
L0 = ( N + 1)d + 2 × 0.8 × Di

Length at the interior of the hooks

• The force F required to have a specific value of displacement f is then:

F=

Gdf
+ Fi
8C 3 N

Figure 10-7
(a) Geometry of the force F and
extension y curve of an extension
spring; (b) geometry of the
extension spring; and (c) torsional
stresses due to initial tension as a
function of spring index C in
helical extension springs.

Variable Pitch Helical Springs
Tapered Helical Springs
• Are used to obtain non-linear characteristics (hardening or
softening)


p3
p2
p1

Fundamentals of Machine Design and Drawing

21

Massimiliano Avalle
Massimo Rossetto

Politecnico di Torino
Dipartimento di Meccanica

Helical Coil Torsion Spring
• The wire in torsion springs is in bending
• Used in clothespins, windows shades, animal traps,
counterbalance mechanisms, ratchets, etc.
Figure 10-9

Table 10-9

Torsion springs

torsion springs (for D / d ratios up to and
including 16)

Total Coils

Tolerance: ±Degrees*

Up to 3

8

Over 3 to 10

10

Over 10 to 20

15

Over 20 to 30

20

Over 30

25

* Closer tolerances on request

Helical Coil Torsion Spring
• The bending stress can be obtained from curved-beam theory:
Figure 10-10
The free-end location angle is β. The rotational
coordinate θ is proportional to the product F l.
Its back angle is α. For all positions of the
moving end θ + α = Σ = constant

32 M
32 Fl
= Ki / o
3
πd
πd 3
6M
6 Fl
σ = Ki / o 2 = Ki / o 2
bh
bh
2
4C − C − 1
4C 2 + C − 1
Ki =
Ko =
4C (C − 1)
4C (C + 1)

σ = Ki / o

• The spring rate is computed by integration of the elastic deformation,
taking into account the number of coils Nb but also the length l1 and l1 of
the loading ends, computing an equivalent number of active turns Na:

k=

Fl

ϑt

=

M

ϑt

=

d 4E
64 DN a

Fundamentals of Machine Design and Drawing

N a = Nb +

l1 + l2
3πD

22

Massimiliano Avalle
Massimo Rossetto

Politecnico di Torino
Dipartimento di Meccanica

Helical Coil Torsion Spring
Strength Verification
• Static strength: values in table 10-6 can be divided by 0.577 (from
distortion energy theory) to give:

0.78S ut

S y = 0.87 Sut
0.61S
ut

Music wire and cold - drawn carbon steel
OQ & T carbon and low − alloy steel
(10-57)
Austenitic stainless steel and nonferrous alloys

• Fatigue strength: results using the Gerber fatigue-failure criterion and
results from Associated Spring, give equation 10-61 and data from table
10-10

1 σa
Fs =
2 Se

 Sut 


σm 

2

Table 10-10
Maximum recommended
bending stresses for
helical torsion springs in
cyclic applications as
percent of Sut

2

− 1 + 1 +  2 σ m S e  
 S σ  

 ut a  

Fatigue
life,
cycles

(10-61)

ASTM A228 and Type 302

ASTM A230 and A232

Not shot-peened

Shot-peened

Not shot-peened

Shot-peened

105

53

62

55

64

106

50

60

53

62

Bending Springs
Cantilever Springs
• Used when the elastic element must work in limited space
• They behave as clamped plates, they are subjected to bending
• According to the shape (rectangular, triangular, trapezoidal)
they can have good utilization factors
• Material utilization factor of a spring is the ratio between the
energy stored in the spring and the theoretical (maximum)
amount of energy that can be stored in an equal volume of
material (subject to pure uniform tension)

Fundamentals of Machine Design and Drawing

23

Massimiliano Avalle
Massimo Rossetto

Politecnico di Torino
Dipartimento di Meccanica

Utilization Factor of Springs
Case

Utilization factor, m

1

1/3

>1/9
<1/3

1/9

1/2

<1/2

Bending Springs
Rectangular Cantilever Spring

σ=

Mf
wf
Mf

dα =

EI

l

f = x
0

k=

=

b0 h 2 6

dx =

Fx
dx
EI

, I=

l

b0
dx

3

Fx
Fl
dx =
3EI
EI

3EI
l3

Fx

h

F
x

b0 h 3
12

Fundamentals of Machine Design and Drawing

24

Massimiliano Avalle
Massimo Rossetto

Politecnico di Torino
Dipartimento di Meccanica

Bending Springs
Increasing Utilization of the Material
• Stress σ is not uniform and equal to the
Fl
σ max ( x = l ) =
maximum value σmax:
b0 h 2 6
• The spring utilization is not optimal
• It would be convenient to use a spring said to have uniform
strength, that is with constant value of σmax along the axis:
Fx
σ max = 2 = constant
bh 6
• This can be achieved by either:
1) Varying the thickness along the longitudinal axis
h2 ∝ x
(parabolic spring) while maintaining constant width
2) Varying the width along the longitudinal axis
b∝ x
(triangular spring) and maintaining constant thickness
• The second option is generally preferred due to simpler manufacturing

Bending Springs
Triangular Cantilever Spring
b = b0

x
l

Fx
Fl
=
= cost
2
x 2
b
h
6
0
b0 h 6
l
Fl 3
f =
2 EI
b h3
2 EI
k= 3 , I= 0
l
12

σ=

• The utilization factor is much greater
(1/3)
• The pointed end makes difficult the
load application: the trapezoidal
shape can be used

Fundamentals of Machine Design and Drawing

b0
dx

F
x

h
l

25

Massimiliano Avalle
Massimo Rossetto

Politecnico di Torino
Dipartimento di Meccanica

Bending Springs
Triangular Cantilever Spring (constructed)
I ( x) =

b( x ) h 3
12

b( x ) = b0

x
l

1 M
12 Fl
Fx
=
=
=
= constant
r EI Eb x h 3 12 Eb0 h 3
0
l

Radius of curvature is
constant: deformed
shape follows an arc of
circumference

Bending Springs
Trapezoidal Cantilever Spring

α=

3
3b0
=
2 + b0 ' b0 2b0 + b0 '

σ=

Fx
Fl
, σ max =
2
bh 6
b0 h 2 6

Fl
3EI
3EI
b h3
k= 3 , I= 0
αl
12
f =α

b0

3

• The utilization factor is:

2αb0
9(b0 + b0 ')

dx
h
l

F
x
b0′

• And tends to the value of (1/3) for b’0 → 0

Fundamentals of Machine Design and Drawing

26

Massimiliano Avalle
Massimo Rossetto

Politecnico di Torino
Dipartimento di Meccanica

Bending Springs
The Leaf Spring
• Can be considered deriving from a
couple of trapezoidal spring
• It reduces the transverse space
with respect to the simple
trapezoidal shape
• It is made of overlapping leafs of
different length and with the same
width b’0
• Each leaf can be seen as two joined
half-leafs symmetrical with respect
to the middle
• Originally called laminated or
carriage spring (balestra =
crossbow)

f/2
h

f

e

f

d

e/2
d/2
c/2
b/2
a

b

e

b0 ′

b0 ′
c 2
a

d
c

b

b0 ′

2l
a

Bending Springs
The Leaf Spring
Elliptic

shackle
tie hole or eye
axle

Semi-elliptic

rebound clip

¾ - elliptic

¼ - elliptic

Transverse

Fundamentals of Machine Design and Drawing

27

Massimiliano Avalle
Massimo Rossetto

Politecnico di Torino
Dipartimento di Meccanica

Bending Springs
Leaf Spring Analysis
• In a triangular cantilever spring the deformed shape is an arc of
circumference
• in the leaf spring it is reasonable to assume that the leafs maintain the
same behavior, and same deformation
• The total clamping moment is:

M = FL
• In each leaf, the applied moment is:

M leaf =

M
n

n, number of leafs

b0 / n

• The stress in each leaf is then:

σ=

M leaf
Wleaf

=

6( M n) 6 FL
=
(b0 n)h 2 b0 h 2

• The stress in each leaf is the same as the
equivalent trapezoidal equivalent

Bending Springs
Leaf Spring Design
• As a first approximation the evaluation of the maximum
stress and deflection can be referred to the equivalent
trapezoidal spring (n, number of leafs):

b0 ' 1
b0 h 3
3
α=
,
= → b0 = nb0 ' , I =
2 + b0 ' b0
b0 n
12
f =α

Fl 3
Fl
3EI
, σ max =
, k= 3
2
αl
3EI
b0 h 6

• The error which is made is towards safety because both
deflection and maximum stress are overestimated

Fundamentals of Machine Design and Drawing

28

Massimiliano Avalle
Massimo Rossetto

Politecnico di Torino
Dipartimento di Meccanica

Bending Springs
Leaf Spring Design
• Correction for reduction of stress and deflection due to the non-linearity
% reduction of σ

% reduction of f

14
12

b0'
=0
b0

Triangular
shape

10

6
4

= 0.2

14

= 0.4
= 0.6
= 0.8
b0'
=1
b0

12

Rectangular
shape

0
0

0.2

0.4

0.6

0.8

1

b0'
=0
b0
= 0.2
= 0.4
= 0.6

18
Triangular
shape

16

8

2

20

10
8

= 0.8
b0'
=1
b0

6
4

Fl
EI

2

2
0
0

0.2

0.4

Rectangular
shape
Fl 2
0.6 0.8 1 EI

Belleville Springs
(molle a tazza or molle Belleville)
• Also known as coned-disc spring, conical spring washer, disc
spring, Belleville washers or cupped spring washer
d
t
h

0.00

0.50

1.00

1.41

1.6

2.00

2.50

2.83

3.50

1.4
F / F0

D

h/s

1.8

2.0

1.2
1.0
0.8
0.6

0.4
• Stiffness vary with displacement:
0.2
they are typical non-linear springs
0.0
0.0
0.5
1.0
1.5
2.0
• Stiffness value is taken as the value
f/h
at zero force
• Since a single disc spring is often too stiff, it is possible to have
more compliance by linking springs in series or in parallel

Fundamentals of Machine Design and Drawing

29

Massimiliano Avalle
Massimo Rossetto

Politecnico di Torino
Dipartimento di Meccanica

Belleville Springs
Usage in Series and in Parallel
Parallel = stiffer

Mixed = adaptive

Series = more compliant

Progressive

Coned-disc Springs
Clutch Discs and Other Applications

Fundamentals of Machine Design and Drawing

30

Massimiliano Avalle
Massimo Rossetto

Politecnico di Torino
Dipartimento di Meccanica

Miscellaneous Springs
Spiral Springs
• Loaded in bending; they are used in measurement devices
• Usually with rectangular wire section and archimedean profile
5 turns spring, external
end hinged

5 turns spring

5 turns
5 turns
spring,
spring,
external
external
end
end
hinged
hinged

Dimensionless Stifness

5 turns spring, external
end hinged

5 turns spring, external
end hinged

5 turns spring,
external end hinged

Rotation of central pin (rad)

Miscellaneous Springs
Spiral Springs
• With a high number of turns (n > 4):

M = Pro or M = Pri
6M
external end clamped
bh 2
12 Pro
σ=
external end hinged
bh 2
M MI
k=
=
ω El
r2 − r2
h+a
l= o i m=
2m

ro = ri + (h + a )n

σ=

Fundamentals of Machine Design and Drawing

ro
ri
a
h

n=2¼

31

Massimiliano Avalle
Massimo Rossetto

Politecnico di Torino
Dipartimento di Meccanica

Miscellaneous Springs
Friction Springs
• Made of a series of overlying thin rings of two types, alternated:
– Internal, with external tapered surfaces (internal surface cylindrical)
– External, with internal tapered surfaces (external surface cylindrical)

• Rings are in contact on the tapered surfaces
• When an external axial force F is applied, a contact pressure
develops between each couple of rings:
– The pressure expands the inner rings and contract the outer rings
– The rings slide, one with respect to the other
– The small axial slips, added altogether give the total displacement

Miscellaneous Springs
Friction Springs
• Due to the relative displacements between the ring surfaces, friction
occurs
• The spring, once compressed (OA), does not return to its original shape
unless the force is reduced below a restore force FR (point B)
• The area OAB represent dissipated energy
• These springs are used in heavy duty situations under shock loading
• Parallel and serial arrangements are also possible
A

Parallel arrangement

Serial arrangement

B
O

Fundamentals of Machine Design and Drawing

32

Massimiliano Avalle
Massimo Rossetto

Politecnico di Torino
Dipartimento di Meccanica

Miscellaneous Springs
Pure Compression Springs
• Exploiting the low elastic modulus of plastics it has been
possible to obtain pure compression springs
• They are usually made of thermoplastic polyurethane (TPUR,
also used for gaskets, O-rings, etc.)
• Advantages:



High load capacity, long life
Insulating materials, non-magnetic
Resistance to wear
High damping, noise reduction capability

• Disadvantages:
– low temperature range (from -30°C to +90°C)

Miscellaneous Springs
Pure Compression Springs
• Typical compression spring characteristics
• Data can be obtained from the manufacturers catalogs
600

0.14

D.i = 4.3 mm; D.e = 17.5 mm

Stress (MPa)
Tensione
(MPa)

Load (N)
Forza
(N)

D.i = 4.3 mm; D.e = 17.5 mm

0.12

500
400
300
12.5 mm
19.0 mm
25.4 mm
31.8 mm

200
100

0.1
0.08
0.06

12.5 mm
19.0 mm
25.4 mm
31.8 mm

0.04
0.02

0

0
0

2

4

6

8

10

12

Stroke(mm)
(mm)
Corsa

Fundamentals of Machine Design and Drawing

0%

10%

20%

30%

40%

Strain (-) (m/m)
Deformazione

33

Massimiliano Avalle
Massimo Rossetto

Politecnico di Torino
Dipartimento di Meccanica

More Miscellaneous Springs
Figure 10-13

Figure 10-14

Constant-force spring

A volute spring

• Made of slightly curved strip steel,
not flat, so that the force required
to uncoil it remains constant. This
is equivalent to a zero spring rate.

• Wide, thin strip, or “flat,” of material
wound on the flat so that the coils fit
inside one another. Since the coils
do not stack, the solid height of the
spring is the width of the strip

References and UNI (Italian) standards
[1] Bongiovanni, G., Roccati, G. Le molle - tipi e criteri di calcolo, Levrotto &
Bella, Torino, 1994
[2] Niemann, G. Elementi di Macchine, ETS, Milano (Springer, Berlino), 1983
[3] De Paulis, A., Manfredi, E. Costruzione di Macchine, Pearson Milano, 2012
• UNI 7900, Molle ad elica cilindrica di compressionee trazione, 1978-1981
• UNI 8525:1984 Molle ad elica cilindrica di compressione con filo a sezione
circolare. Caratteristiche costruttive e dimensionali
• UNI 8526:1984 Molle ad elica cilindrica di trazione con filo a sezione
circolare. Caratteristiche costruttive e dimensionali
• UNI 9061:1987 Molle ad elica cilindrica di torsione
• UNI 3961:1974 Prodotti finiti di acciaio laminati a caldo. Piatti rigati per
molle a balestra di rotabili di ferrovie, metropolitane e tranvie. Dimensioni
e tolleranze
• UNI 3962: 1974 Prodotti finiti di acciaio laminati a caldo. Piatti lisci per
molle a balestra ed a bovolo per rotabili di ferrovie, metropolitane e
tranvie. Dimensioni e tolleranze
• UNI 8736:1985 Molle a tazza. Tipi, calcolo e collaudo
• UNI 8737:1985 Molle a tazza. Caratteristiche costruttive e dimensionali

Fundamentals of Machine Design and Drawing

34

Massimiliano Avalle
Massimo Rossetto

Politecnico di Torino
Dipartimento di Meccanica

References: UNI EN & ISO standards
• UNI EN 10089:2003 Hot-rolled steels for quenched and tempered springs
• UNI EN 10270:2011 Filo di acciaio per molle meccaniche (parts 1-3)
• UNI EN 15800:2009 Molle ad elica cilindrica fabbricate con filo a sezione
circolare – Prescrizioni di qualità per molle di compressione con
avvolgimento a freddo
• UNI EN 13906:2003 Molle ad elica cilindrica fabbricate con filo a sezione
circolare e barra – Calcolo e progetto – Parte 1 Molle di compressione;
Parte 2 Molle di trazione; Parte 3 Molle di torsione
• UNI EN ISO 2162:1998 Documentazione tecnica di prodotto – Molle. Parte
1 Rappresentazione semplificata; Parte 2 Presentazione dei dati per le
molle ad elica cilindrica di compressione

References: DIN and other standards
• ISO 11891:2012 Hot formed helical compression springs – Technical
specifications
• ISO 26909:2009 Springs – Vocabulary
• ISO 26910-1:2009 Springs – Shot peening – Part 1: General procedures
• ISO/DIS 16249 Springs – Symbols (under development)
• ISO/CD 18137-1 Leaf springs – Part 1: Technical requirements and test
methods (under development)
• ISO 8458:2002 Steel wire for mechanical springs (parts 1-3)
• DIN 17221:1988 Hot rolled steels for springs suitable for quenching and
tempering - Technical delivery conditions (replaced by EN 10089:2003)
• DIN 17223:1984 Round steel wire for springs – Patented cold drawn,
carbon steel wire for springs
• DIN 2092 Disc springs - Calculation
• DIN 2093 Disc springs - Quality specifications - Dimensions
• DIN 6796 Conical spring washers for bolted connections

Fundamentals of Machine Design and Drawing

35

Massimiliano Avalle
Massimo Rossetto

Politecnico di Torino
Dipartimento di Meccanica

References: retired UNI standards
• UNI 3545:1980 Prodotti finiti laminati a caldo in barre e vergella di acciaio
legato speciale per molle bonificate. Qualità, prescrizioni e prove (ritirata,
sostituita da UNI EN 10089:2006)
• UNI 3823:1975 Prodotti finiti in acciaio non legato trafilati - fili per molle
(ritirata, sostituita da UNI EN 10270-1:2003)
• UNI 3871:1984, Prodotti finiti di acciaio laminatia caldo. Tondi e vergella
per molle. Dimensioni e tolleranze, 1984 (ritirata senza sostituzione)
• UNI 3960:1974 Prodotti finiti di acciaio laminati a caldo. Piatti lisci per
molle a balestra ed a bovolo (ritirata, sostituita da UNI EN 10092-1:2004)
• UNI 7064:1982, Prodotti finiti piatti laminati a freddo di acciaio speciale
non legato e legato. Nastri per molle. Qualità, prescrizioni e prove (ritirata,
sostituita da UNI EN 10132-4:2002 & UNI EN 10132-1:2002)

Fundamentals of Machine Design and Drawing

36