Tension and Compression Springs: What’s the Difference?


Within the manufacturing industry, there are numerous designs and forms of spring that are used for different projects. Each spring, pressing or wire form has a specific purpose, each working differently to maximise their potential.

Tension springs and compression springs look similar therefore it is understandable to confuse the two, however they are actually designed to do very different things. Here at European Springs we’re going to reveal how springs that look so similar can be so different.

What Are Tension Springs?

The design difference between compression springs and tension springs is that the latter usually have a loop or a hook attached at either end – these are for attachment purposes. Tension springs, sometimes known as extension springs, can be found in garage doors, but a trampoline is a better example of this type of spring in action.

The primary function of this type of spring is to allow an outside force to create tension then use energy to pull components back together. Tension springs are usually wound very tightly, and this spring is in a state of rest when it is coiled closely together. If the coils of a tension spring are damaged it will not be able to return to its original state of tension.

Tension springs can be used in a wide range of industry sectors, including rail, agriculture, oil and gas and aerospace. As tension springs can come in a diverse array of sizes, they can be used for many applications. Here are the most common uses of this type of spring:

  • Trampolines
  • Automotive interior and exterior
  • Garage doors
  • Farm equipment
  • Pliers
  • Medical devices such as stretchers and surgical lights

Tension springget in touch with our compression spring manufacturers here at European Springs by phoning +44 (0) 208 663 1800 or email [email protected]