A volute spring is a type of compression spring designed so that when the spring is compressed, some coils slide inside other coils, providing a large range of motion. Most people are familiar with a coil spring. Shaped like cylinder-- or more properly a helix-- coil springs are probably the most common spring used today. Used in most automobile suspension systems, a coil can compress only until the coils are forced together. A volute spring is shaped like a cone, with the word coming from the Latin word for scroll. When compressed a volute spring coils around itself allowing for much greater compression. Volute springs are chosen when a very long travel is needed. For example, volute springs are common in most shears and clippers. Volute springs were also chosen for the suspension system of most U.S. armored vehicles designed until the middle of World War II, including the M4 Sherman Tank.

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