As discussed in previous articles, the spring is the skeleton of the seal.  In this article, we will look a little closer at the features and benefits of our four standard spring types.  These include: V-spring, Helical, Full Contact, and Slant Coil.  The concept of a spring energizer is fairly straightforward.  The greater the deflection, the greater the force.  This holds true for V-Spring, Helical, and Full Contact.  The force vs. deflection relationship for these three springs is linear so the force at any given deflection is consistent and predictable.  The Slant Coil spring, however, has a very unique force vs. deflection curve in that it is flat or horizontal over the usable life of the seal.  That is to say that as the deflection increases the force stays the same.  We will go into greater detail on each spring in upcoming articles but below is a general breakdown of each spring.

The graph below shows all four springs together for a comparison of their properties.  This graph is intended to show the general shape of each spring curve but does not represent actual data for any one spring.

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  • V-spring – High deflection, medium load, general purpose spring good for slow-to-moderate dynamic applications.  Commonly used in valves.
  • Helical – Low deflection, high load spring not recommended for dynamic service.  Helical works well in light gas / low pressure, static environments.
  • Full Contact – Ultra high load with moderate deflection, the Full Contact spring is excellent for cryogenic service in large diameter and/or large cross-section applications.  Due to its unique construction, the Full Contact spring can only be used in face seal configurations.
  • Slant Coil Spring  – This is the most versatile spring of the group.  It is available in light, medium and heavy loads and in a number of materials.  It is great for rotary seal applications as well as quick disconnects and electrical connectors.  Plating can be used to improve performance…..and its available from Maudlin.

Starting with the correct spring is an important step for a successful design and knowing how each spring will react under load will help point you in the right direction. To see all of our spring curves, please visit and click on the “Spring Products” tab.