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# Bow-like leaf spring calculations

## Bow-like leaf spring calculations

(OP)
I'm building a composite leaf spring for a specialized research application. It's going to be "C" or "J" shape.  Tapering thickness etc.

I'd appreciate any sources where I could find relevant engineering tables, calculations, etc.

I have a good idea of what I need it to do, but now I have to engineer the spring before I build it.

I don't have FEA right now.  I do have flexibility to vary the width and number and thickness of leaves etc.

Thanks
Larry

### RE: Bow-like leaf spring calculations

The first thing you will have to do is determine the bending moments along your spring.  You could simplify this bt assuming it to be a single leaf.  An accurate analysis would require simultanious analysis of all springs, matrix inversion - much work!

There are many ways to analyse this type of structure, I prefer the strain energy method.  This will allow you to determine the redundent end moments and  thus you will be able to calculate bending and deflection at anypoint along the spring; essential info don't you think.  FEA will be a great help as long as you're skilled in this area, it's not the easy answer as many think!

Any good mechanics of materials text will help you, also have a look at Castiglianos method!

Nigel Waterhouse
n_a_waterhouse@hotmail.com

A licensed aircraft mechanic and graduate engineer. Attended university in England and graduated in 1996. Currenty,living in British Columbia,Canada, working as a design engineer responsible for aircraft mods and STC's.

### RE: Bow-like leaf spring calculations

(OP)
Thanks Nigel,

I like the strain energy idea. It is indeed important to have info all along the spring.

Thanks

Larry

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