Graduation Year


Document Type




Degree Granting Department

Mechanical Engineering

Major Professor

Steven T. Weber, Ph.D.

Co-Major Professor

Rajiv Dubey, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Alex A. Volinsky, Ph.D.


helical springs, design, stress, constraints, cartridge valve


The purpose of this work is to look into the fundamental issues regarding spring design and develop a new, easy to use software program that would allow for optimal, flexible spring designs. Most commercial programs that address this function are basic and do not allow the designer much control over the variables hindering design. This is so because most programs start from the premise that the spring is a general purpose part of the system or that other design parameters can be altered to accommodate the chosen spring. In cases where this is not so, such as in hydraulic cartridge valves, where the geometric constraints are severe, spring design may be a cumbersome process. This is particularly true when fatigue life is taken into account.

The solution chosen here is to tailor the software application to these particular design constraints, incorporating some ideas about spring optimization. In addition to this, a concerted effort was made to make the subject more accessible to the engineers using the program by automating the more technical aspects of the process allowing the designers to make intelligent decisions based on how the variables would affect design. To this end currently existing software was evaluated to determine where it was lacking and a new program was written and painstakingly tested. Finally, it was used to correct flaws identified in existing springs.