Spring Rate Vs Load Rate

The Difference Between A Spring’s Spring Rate And A Spring’s Load Rate

(And why you’re probably getting it wrong)

A spring’s Spring Rate and a spring’s Load Rate are the two most misunderstood spring terms out there.

But here’s the good news: this is easily correctable.

With a quick overview of the terms, and a small change in language for clarity, you’ll be able to talk springs better than 99% of the population today.

(I made that statistic up. It’s probably more like 99.999%)


A Spring’s Spring Rate

A spring’s Spring Rate is the amount of weight required to deflect a spring one inch. The lower the Spring Rate, the softer the spring. The softer the spring, the smoother the ride.

If you’re still having trouble, think of it as a fat guy on a mattress.

A fat guy on a soft mattress would sink in pretty far, but a fat guy on a hard concrete-like mattress wouldn’t sink in at all.

We could measure the fat-guy-on-mattress rate by seeing just how fat the fat guy has to be in order for him to sink one inch down. So a 400 pound fat guy sinking one inch into a mattress gives us a Mattress Rate of 400 pounds. That’s not a very soft mattress!

If we look at another mattress, we could get one where it would only take 250 pounds of fat guy to sink one inch down.

That’s a noticeably softer mattress at a Mattress Rate of 250 pounds. It was probably made by NASA.

Just replace fat guy with amount of weight and mattress with spring, and you have a near-perfect understanding of Spring Rate.


A Spring’s Load Rate

Load Rate, on the other hand, is completely different. Load Rate is the amount of weight a spring is designed to carry when deflected to a certain height.

Did I confuse you? It’s ok if I did. Load Rate is so troublesome that it’ll be better to just use a different term..

A Spring’s Load Rate Design Rate

That’s much better. Let’s try again.

Design Rate is the amount of weight a spring is designed to carry when deflected to a certain height.

If we go back to our fat guy on mattress example, the Design Rate for a mattress would be how fat the guy the mattress is made for is.

“He wants a mattress? And he wants it soft enough so he sinks down 1.3 inches? We can do that! Just tell me how fat he is so I can set the Design Rate of his mattress.” –Sample dialogue, translated to Fat Guy

Check Your Understanding

Spring Rate is the amount of weight required to deflect a spring one-inch, making it a measure of softness for the spring.

Design Rate is the amount of weight a spring is designed to carry at a certain ride height, making it an engineering consideration.

See the difference? It seems simple now, doesn’t it?

Trackbacks

  1. Title

    [...]Here is a great Blog You may Obtain Fascinating that we Encourage You[...]

  2. Title

    [...]below you’ll locate the link to some websites that we believe you ought to visit[...]

  3. Title

    [...]Sites of interest we have a link to[...]