Gas springs are complex creations, and it is vital that those who make use of them understand both how they actually work, and how they can meet the needs of a variety of operations. Unlike a traditional metal spring, a gas spring makes use of compressed gas to achieve the required force that it needs. Usually contained within a cylinder, this gas is compressed by a piston when any dynamic effect is required.
The gas within these springs is often introduced through a Schrader type valve. This is a valve that consists of a brass tube that is threaded on the exterior, with a metal pin that is located flush along the axis of the tube and the valve body. The valve generally makes use of a lip seal around the rod, and the gas is forcefully injected through the tube using either external high pressures or a sometimes a mechanical gasket that is known as an O-ring system.
In gas springs where the interior plunger also possesses a diaphragm that is sufficient to extend to the edge of its housing tube, the spring will become immobile once it is subjected to a consistent force. This results in the spring being able to support a weight in the manner of a more traditional spring. Slow dampened springs exploit a small hole in this plunger to allow them to be used on heavy windows and doors, whilst quick gas springs are modified for faster operations such as air guns.
When the gas volume is reduced, the internal pressure of the tube is reduced by either an end stop or a sliding mechanism. This in turn allows the properties of a gas spring to be adjusted even when it is in use. Particularly powerful gas springs can actually be used as a power pack, as the high levels of pressure that they contain can be translated into usable energy. In times of need, this gas can be made use of through a gas generator cell in a similar fashion to an airbag.
Manufacturers of gas springs can augment their products with a range of features including modifiable push-in forces, single touched releases and extended strokes. Because of these variations, there are also a variety of different types of gas spring available, including lockable gas springs that allow you to lock in the stroke to an exact position without needing to make use of any external locking methods. Here at European Springs and Pressings Ltd, we are one of the premier authorities in the area of spring and high speed press technology manufacture, so please do not hesitate to contact us for further information about any of our bespoke spring services.