Which type of spring (compression, torsion, hairspring etc) would give me the highest energy to mass ratio? i.e. which one can store the most energy compared to how much it weighs? Lets assume they are all made out of spring-steel.
Also, where on the web can I learn more about hairsprings? Like formulaes, different types available etc.
Ok, Do you know where I can learn more about springs in general? Formulaes, types, materials and so on. Stuff like: How much energy would it take to compress spring A, X mm. Or: How much energy would it take to turn hair-spring B, X revolutions? and so on.
heh. nope. Just need some very large springs in a project that would perform the best if it weighs the minimum possible with the largest possible springs (size of springs are also limited by other factors obviously). This actually brings me to another variation of my question: What materials would give the highest energy to mass ratio in a given spring?
No, that's why valve springs on cars are made from fancy materials.
Well, if you are into dead trees try Shigley, or
for a quick overview on coil springs. Google is your friend.
Again, relying on automotive technology, possibly air, as used in Formula 1. I think you may need to define your problem rather more accurately. Springs in general are fatigue limited, so you need to decide how many cycles, over what stress range, is important.
If you restrict yourself to solid springs, then some form of diamond whisker would probably be the best leaf spring, and a carbon uniaxial layup might be the lightest large leaf spring.
It would be interesting to reduce the weight of an air or gas suspension system as much as possible -- ideal conditions, the best materials etc. -- and then compare it with solid springs.
Energy storage comparisons, always interesting, are getting critically important really fast.
Capacitor powered vehicles were fun until it turned out the best capacitors available today would need weigh 100 tons to equal 5 tons of lead acid batteries or 100 pounds of gas or 200 pounds of TNT. The TNT comparison is more appropriate because capacitors discharge even faster than TNT explodes. If the thing shorted out in, say, an accident it would blow a crater
30 feet in diameter.
I'd rather store 50 pounds of H2 in my garage.
A math guy -- it's sometimes useful to be on speaking terms with a math guy -- is very pessimistic about engineers designing a nice affordable sustainable democratic way off the limb of the oil age.
"Apparently we are going to party for a couple of centuries and then, when the oil is gone, just turn [back] to coal."
I said, "and that is assuming there isn't going to be any 'political problems' caused by the increasing cost of transportation and food."