Call now

+31 20 682 2961


Close this search box.

Key Differences Between Compression, Tension, and Torsion Springs

Share this blog:

Key Differences Between Compression, Tension, and Torsion Technical Springs: A Comprehensive Guide

Springs play a crucial role in various industries and applications, where they are used to store or absorb mechanical energy. They come in different types and designs, each serving unique purposes. This article, alongside resources from organizations like The Institute of Spring Technology (IST), will explore and compare three commonly used technical springs: compression, tension, and torsion. By understanding their key differences, you can make informed decisions when choosing the most suitable spring for your specific requirements.

Introduction to Technical Springs

Before diving into the specifics, let’s briefly explain what technical springs are and their general functionality. Technical springs are devices designed to store mechanical energy when deformed and release it when the deforming force is removed. They are typically made of resilient materials, such as metals like steel or alloys, and are used in various applications, including automotive, aerospace, industrial machinery, and more.

Compression Springs

Compression springs are perhaps the most commonly used type of spring. As the name suggests, they are designed to resist compression forces. When a compression spring is compressed, it exerts an opposing force, pushing back to its original length. This makes compression springs ideal for applications requiring resistance to compressive loads, such as shock absorbers, mattresses, and mechanical seals.

Features of Compression Springs

Compression springs possess several key features that contribute to their functionality and versatility:

  1. Coil Shape: Compression springs typically have a helical coil shape, enabling them to store energy by compressing the coils. The coils release the stored energy when the force is removed, allowing the spring to return to its original shape.
  2. Linear Force: The force exerted by a compression spring is linearly proportional to its displacement. As you compress or extend a compression spring, its force increases or decreases linearly. This linear relationship allows for predictable and controllable force outputs.
  3. Ends and Hooks: Compression springs often have different types of ends and hooks, allowing them to be easily attached to other components within a system. These ends and hooks provide a secure connection and enable the spring to function effectively.
  4. Materials: Compression springs are commonly made from materials like steel or alloys due to their high strength and durability. The choice of material depends on the specific application and the required level of resistance to compression forces.

Tension Springs

Tension springs, or extension springs, are designed to resist tensile forces. They work oppositely to compression springs. When extended or stretched, tension springs exert an opposing force, trying to pull themselves back to their original length. Tension springs are commonly used in applications where pulling or stretching forces, such as garage doors, trampolines, and balance scales, must be counteracted.

Features of Tension Springs

Let’s look at some key features of tension springs:

  1. Coil Shape: Tension springs have a spiral coil shape similar to compression springs. However, they are wound in the opposite direction, allowing them to resist stretching forces. When the spring is extended, the coils tighten and store potential energy, which is released when the force is removed.
  2. Non-Linear Force: Unlike compression springs, tension springs exhibit a non-linear force-displacement relationship. As you stretch or release a tension spring, the force it exerts changes non-linearly. Initially, the force increases rapidly, but it eventually reaches a point where further stretching does not significantly increase the force.
  3. Loops and Hooks: Tension springs often have loops or hooks at their ends, making them easy to attach or manipulate within a system. These loops or hooks can connect the spring to other components or fixtures, ensuring secure integration and efficient functionality.
  4. Materials: Tension springs are typically made from materials with high tensile strength, such as stainless steel or music wire. These materials provide the necessary resilience and resistance to stretching forces.

Torsion Springs

Unlike compression and tension springs, torsion springs are designed to resist twisting or rotational forces. They store mechanical energy by twisting or rotating around an axis. Torsion springs are commonly used where torque needs to be applied or counteracted, such as in clothespins, door hinges, and various mechanical components.

Features of Torsion Springs

Here are some key features of torsion springs:

  1. Helical Shape: Torsion springs have a spiral shape, but instead of being compressed or extended along the axis, they are designed to twist around the axis. The spiral structure allows the spring to store and release rotational energy.
  2. Torque-Dependent Force: The force exerted by a torsion spring depends on the amount of torque applied. As the spring is twisted further, the force it exerts increases. This relationship allows precise control over the torque required for a specific application.
  3. End Configurations: Torsion springs typically have various end configurations, including straight ends, bent ends, or even special hooks, enabling them to be easily connected to other components or fixtures. The choice of end configuration depends on the system’s specific requirements and the desired attachment method.
  4. Materials: Torsion springs are commonly made from materials like steel or alloys, chosen for their strength and ability to withstand torsional forces. The material selection ensures the spring’s longevity and optimal performance in rotational forces applications.
Looking for specialized technical springs? Look no further than TEVEMA, your ultimate spring partner. We offer a vast selection of over 20,000 technical springs in stock, along with the capability to create customized springs to meet your unique needs. With over 80 years of valuable experience in spring production, we're your trusted experts in the field. Have questions or need assistance? Don't hesitate to reach out to us at +31 20 682 29 61.


Compression, tension, and torsion springs are fundamental components in numerous applications, each designed to resist specific forces. Understanding the key differences between these springs is essential for selecting the appropriate one for your needs. By considering factors such as coil shape, force-displacement relationship, and end configurations, you can make an informed decision ensuring optimal application performance and longevity. Whether you require a spring to resist compression, tension, or torsional forces, various options are available to meet your requirements.

FAQ: Key Differences Between Compression, Tension, and Torsion Technical Springs

Q: What are compression springs used for?
A: Compression springs are used in applications where resistance to compressive loads is required, such as shock absorbers, mattresses, and mechanical seals.

Q: What are tension springs used for?
A: Tension springs are used in applications where pulling or stretching forces need to be counteracted, such as garage doors, trampolines, and balance scales.

Q: What are torsion springs used for?
A: Torsion springs are used in applications where torque needs to be applied or counteracted, such as clothespins, door hinges, and mechanical components.

Q: How do the force-displacement relationships differ between compression, tension, and torsion springs?
A: Compression springs have a linear force-displacement relationship, tension springs have a non-linear relationship where the force increases rapidly at first but plateaus, and torsion springs have a force that increases as the spring is twisted further.

More blogs

Scroll to Top