Your Garage Door Spring: How Coil Springs Function as a Counter-Balance

What are torsion springs?

A torsion spring is often used as a garage door spring and works by torsion—or twisting—a flexible object that stores mechanical energy when it is in the twisted position. These coil springs should never unwind from a free position; instead, they should wind up from the free position. By functioning in this way, garage door springs reduce their diameter and become longer.

The amount of force, or torque, that is exerted by torsion springs is proportional to the amount the garage springs are twisted; and such springs need to be supported over a steel rod as a part of the overall garage door design. The spring is usually made from wire a bar of metal, and spacing is needed to minimize the friction that can alter the optimum torque and deflection.

Why are torsion springs so effective?

Torsion springs follow an angular form of Hooke’s Law, as long as they are not twisted beyond what their elasticity can handle. The basics of Hooke’s Law are that the torque required to twist the spring through the angle of 1 radian is equal to the angle of the twist. Although this formula may be hard for the average garage door spring user to understand, it basically means that torsion springs function with the same spring constant of a linear spring.

Uses of Coil Springs:
Besides garage springs, torsion springs may be used for:

  • Torsion Bars: – Used to support auto suspension components (or the wheels), which move in response to rough roads and allow for a smoother ride.
  • Torsion Pendulum: – These are wheel-shaped weights that are suspended from the center of some pendulum clocks, rotating the weight around the axis of the spring rather than swinging it like a regular pendulum.
  • Balance Spring – In mechanical watches, the hairspring—or balance spring—is a spiral-shaped torsion spring that moves the balance spring toward the center position as it continues to rotate back and forth.
  • Digital Micromirror Device: – This chip is at the center of many video projectors. There are many thousand miniscule mirrors on tiny torsion springs that reflect light onto the screen and form the image.

Katy Spring understands that although torsion springs are used for everything from assisting in opening trunk doors, to mousetraps designs, to operating the pop-up doors on digital cameras, most of our clients are looking for a garage door springs replacements. We are here to help you choose just the spring for your next job, no matter how big or how small. Call us at 281-391-1888 and let us help you make sure your mechanical devices move smoothly and efficiently.