7 Types of Leaf Springs
January 10, 2022
What are the different types of leaf springs?
- Multi-Leaf Spring
- Mono Leaf Spring
- Semi-elliptical Leaf Spring
- Quarter-Elliptical Leaf Spring
- Three-Quarter Elliptical Leaf Spring
- Full-elliptical leaf spring
- Transverse Leaf Spring
Leaf springs are a type of suspension used in vehicles — especially trucks and vans that need to haul heavy loads. Its main characteristic is its arc shape, which will remind you of the appearance of a bow. This provides support to the vehicle by allowing the spring to absorb impact. This way, you will experience a smoother and more comfortable ride. If you want to learn about the different types of leaf springs, keep on reading!
According to The Number of Plates
First, you need to learn about the two main types of leaf springs when it comes to the number of plates they’re made of.
The more common type is the multi-leaf spring, which is made up of more than one metal plate or leaf. These plates are placed on top of one another, with the longest piece on top. A center bolt is inserted through the thickest portion to hold the plates together. Standard components have three to five leaves, but you will find ones with even more.
Because of the multiple leaves, the stiffness of the spring is heightened. The additional support leads to a higher carrying capacity, that’s why these are suitable for heavy-duty vehicles. But be careful when using leaf springs with too many leaves, as these can lead to too much stiffness, and cause an uncomfortable ride.
Mono Leaf Spring
The other type is the mono leaf spring, which is made of one piece of metal. These have a thick center and become narrow toward the edges — to provide support, just like a multi-leaf spring. These are mainly used on lightweight vehicles.
According to The Shape of the Leaf Spring
Leaf springs are also categorized when it comes to their shape. Each one will have its benefits, but not all will be fit for your vehicle.
Semi-elliptical Leaf Spring
The semi-elliptical leaf spring is the most common type of this suspension component. It takes on the arc shape of a bow but without the string. It is usually made of multiple leaves in different lengths but with the same width. The upper and longest leaf or plate is also referred to as the ‘master leaf’.
One end of the semi-elliptical leaf spring is fixed to the frame of the vehicle, and the other end is attached to a shackle. These are fitted on the front and rear axles in many vehicles, such as trucks. On cars, you will find them mostly on the rear axle. The advantage of using this type of spring is that they’re affordable, last long, and don’t need to be repaired as often.
Quarter-Elliptical Leaf Spring
This type of leaf spring is similar in build to a semi-elliptical leaf spring, but they’re mostly used in older cars. The distinct characteristic of this suspension component is that it’s only half of the semi-elliptical leaf spring. One end is fixed to the side of the frame through a bolt, while the other end is connected to the front axle. This was also called a cantilever type of leaf spring.
Three-Quarter Elliptical Leaf Spring
When you combine a semi-elliptical leaf spring and a quarter-elliptical one, you get a three-quarter elliptical leaf spring. The quarter part is placed on top of the axle and is fixed to the frame of the vehicle. The semi-elliptical spring is connected to the frame via a shackle on one side, while the other end is attached to the quarter leaf spring.
The addition of an extra half of this suspension component provides extra support. The three-quarter elliptical leaf spring is popular in older vehicles.
Full-elliptical leaf spring
A full elliptical spring is the combination of two semi-elliptical leaf springs which are joined opposite each other to create a shape similar to an oval. These are attached to the frame of the vehicle and the axle. Since both leaf springs will bend the same amount when compressed, spring shackles are not used.
Full-elliptical springs are mainly used in old cars. Nowadays, they’re rare because they don’t maintain the correct axle alignment.
Transverse Leaf Spring
This type of leaf spring looks like the semi-elliptical leaf spring. The only difference is that it’s inverted, so the longest leaf is at the bottom. It’s mounted from each wheel rather than over them. The middle or thickest portion is secured through a U-bolt.
These are also mostly used in older cars, frequently in independent wheel suspensions.
By understanding the different types of leaf springs, you’ll have a better idea of what your vehicle needs when it comes to suspension. These components are important because it allows you to have a smoother ride and carry heavier loads.
If you’re interested in buying leaf springs, you can find them here at Roberts. As the leading manufacturer of this automotive component since 1994, you can trust the quality of our products.