Helical extension springs are similar to helical compression springs, but are loaded in tension. Hooks or loops are provided to allow a pull force to be applied. Usually, extension springs are attached at both ends to other components. When these components move apart, the spring tries to bring them together again. Extension springs absorb and store energy as well as create a resistance to a pulling force. It is initial tension that determines how tightly together an extension spring is coiled. This initial tension can be manipulated to achieve the load requirements of a particular application. Extension Springs are wound to oppose extension. They are often tightly wound in the no-load position and have hooks, eyes, or other interface geometry at the ends to attach to the components they connect. They are frequently used to provide return force to components that extend in the actuated position.
Applications for extension springs include automotive interiors and exteriors, garage door assemblies, vise-grip pliers, carburetors, trampolines, washing devices, farm machinery, toys as well as thousands of other uses. Extension springs come in a wide array of sizes, from small medical devices to off-road machinery brake springs.
A standard loop is shown in the figure below, but many variations are possible.