Springs are usually one of those invaluable components that only become conspicuous by their absence, and while they are performing their designated jobs there is very little reason to spare them much thought. One area that you might not have considered the worth of springs within is the science of architecture, but actually springs are being used in buildings all around the world, and to great effect!
Recently, the new ‘Cheesegrater skyscraper’ has been completed in London, and this soon to be iconic structure – officially known as the Leadenhall building – is the latest and tallest development to reshape the skyline of our capital. However, the unique aesthetics of this building (see right) obscure a lot of extremely clever technical innovations, one of which is actually enabled by the presence of compression springs.
The Cheesegrater exhibits what has been referred to as a ‘braced tube’ structure, and this decision, along with enabling the use of column-free interiors and similar features, leaves exposed compression springs in plain sight for all to see. These springs actually function as shock absorbers; their inclusion means that the Cheesegrater can move in accordance with impacts and even changes in temperature, yet this is far from the first time that springs have been used in such a capacity.
Earthquake Proof Architecture
In areas like Japan and parts of America, the threat posed by earthquakes is a very real one, and the tendency of such nations to favour tall and impressive buildings is therefore a real problem. Because of this, earthquake engineering and earthquake proof buildings have become ever more important, and springs play a large role within these efforts.
Although earthquake proofing uses many methods, base isolation – the practice of decoupling a superstructure from its ground-based substructure – is one of the most common. Exposed springs are often to be observed at the lowest levels of base isolated buildings, where they have been proven to allow a building to resist ground tremors and remain largely intact. In essence, the building ‘floats’ above its foundations on a system of springs (see left); incredibly clever, to say the least!
As you can see, although you might not have ever thought of springs in architecture before, they serve an incredibly important purpose, and many of the world’s tallest buildings would be totally unviable without them. Here at Airedale Springs, we’ve long been aware of the widespread importance of springs, as products like our tension springs find themselves used in all sorts of industries that you wouldn’t have expected.
What sets us apart is our ability to craft bespoke springs to very cost-effective patterns, and you’ll not find a more reliable manufacturer of quality springs than we are. No matter what sort of application you require springs for, we can create the components to meet your demand, so contact us now by calling 01535 643456 or emailing email@example.com to find out more.