A mechanical device that exhibits elasticity
according to Hooke's law. Most springs
are made of steel, brass, or bronze. The commonest type is the helical
spring, a helical coil of stiff wire, loose-wound if to be compressed,
tight-wound if to be extended under tension. Springs have many uses, including
closing valves,spring balances, and accelerometers.
The spiral spring is a wire or strip coiled in one plane,
responding to torque applied at its inner
end, and used to store energy, notable in clocks and watches. The leaf
spring, used in vehicle suspension systems, consists of several
steel strips of different lengths clamped on top of each other at one end.
When deformed, springs store potential energy,
and exert a restoring force. Hydraulic and
air springs work by compression of a fluid in a cylinder.