“What Do You Mean By That?” – A Guide to Vulcan Spring Jargon

When you work with Vulcan Spring to solve your spring challenges, you may hear some unfamiliar vocabulary.  We know that not everyone may understand some of these terms.   Here are some of the words we use here at Vulcan Spring.

Laminated (Interwound)
Applies to products: Conforce® Springs and Hinge Springs

A laminated or interwound spring is a coil with two (or more) layers of steel wound together.  Vulcan can wind these springs into each other to provide 2, 3, or more times the force in a compact envelope. This solution also offers the added benefit of increased cycle life compared to a single laminate spring made of thicker material.

Other forms: Laminate, Laminates

Pre-wind (Verb)
Applies to products: Power and Conpower® Springs, Mechanical Reels

During product assembly, the spring is wound on an arbor to a predetermined number of turns.  The main purpose for pre-winding the spring is to maintain torque on the arbor when the retraction is complete.  A secondary purpose is to increase the initial torque of the Power Spring.

When using pre-wind as a noun, we are referring to the number of non-working turns on an arbor.

To read more about this topic visit our blog on pre-winding.


Gradient Positive/Gradient Negative
Applies to products: Variable Force Springs, Constant Torque and Power Springs

Vulcan Spring was an early adopter of the CNC (Computerized Numerical Control) coiler that supplements the traditional mechanical coiler.  These CNC machines can apply a variety of force profiles to customize the properties of a spring. Two common examples are Gradient Positive and Gradient Negative.

The force on a gradient positive spring increases as the spring is extended.  A common use for this is the pusher tray in your local pharmacy or grocer.  A fully loaded tray is heavy with product, requiring a high force to move multiple items.  As the tray is depleted, the force applied decreases, which leads to a smooth delivery of product throughout its’ range.

The force on a gradient negative spring is exactly the opposite.  As the spring is extended, the force decreases.  An example application is cordless window shades.  As the window shade is extended, the force required to hold the shade in place is reduced.  This design allows shade designers to minimize the requirement of mechanical “braking” inside the rail.

Applies to products: All flat steel springs

When a Vulcan Spring engineer refers to a “pick-up,” they are referring to length at the end of the spring which is not coiled onto the diameter. This pick-up length will be specified as the spring is designed.

Applies to products: All flat steel springs

A scallop is a type of end detail. This end detail is used to attach the spring to a mating part. Also commonly referred to as a T-End. This is just one choice among several end detail options.

Money Clip
Applies to products: Variable Force Springs and Conforce® Springs

The money clip is an end detail offered by Vulcan Spring that is commonly used to attach to a wire rack.

Applies to products: Conpower® Springs

When an engineer refers to a Conpower® spring, they are referring to Vulcan’s trademarked name for a pre-stressed power spring.  A Conpower® spring differs from a traditional power spring as a traditional power spring is wound with flat (non-stressed) steel, while a “Conpower®” spring uses pre-stressed steel to generate a larger usable torque range than a traditional power spring.

Vulcan primarily manufactures the Conpower® version due to its advantages overpower springs.  Conpower® springs ramp up faster to usable torque, are smaller, lighter, have longer range (turns), don’t require as much lubrication, and are significantly smoother in operation.

Pusher Spring
Applies to products:
  Variable Force Springs and Conforce® Springs

A pusher spring is a flat steel spring that is used within an application to help move products forward and keep their alignment when placed on a product shelf.  The most common version of a pusher spring is the variable force spring, manufactured on our aforementioned CNC coiling machines.

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