15 Torsion Force Examples in Everyday Life

Torsion Force

The force that gets developed upon twisting one end of an object while rotating another end in the opposite direction or keeping it in a fixed position is known as torsion force. The response to torsion force depends on the nature of the object. For example, the brittle object breaks down, the elastic object regains its original shape as soon as the force is removed, the flexible object gets deformed, etc. Torsion force is responsible to twist or turn an object. It is also known as twist force. In the absence of torque and torsion, the objects would be able to exhibit linear motion only.


1. Doors and Hinges

Most of the garage doors make use of a torsion spring system for their operation. A torsion spring is placed horizontally above the door that makes it possible for the door to come back to the original position after being moved. When a garage door is pulled down, the springs attached to the door store a significant amount of energy in them. While lifting the door in an upward direction, this stored energy helps to open the door with ease.

Ani GIF | Gfycat

2. Retractable Seat

A number of applications such as cinemas, theaters, stadiums, etc. make use of retractable seats because they are convenient and help to save space. These seats possess a mechanical arrangement of torsion springs attached to the base that helps it to get folded automatically when not in use. Apart from saving space, it also helps to clean the area easily.

The Briefcase Chair on Make a GIF

3. Clipboard

A clipboard consists of a torsion spring that indirectly operates the clip mounted on the top of the board and helps to hold the papers in position. An external force is applied to the spring that causes it to get deformed. The deformation caused in the spring is responsible to store mechanical energy in it. This stored energy is accountable to complete the basic function of a clipboard.

Clipboard GIF | Gfycat


4. Medical Equipment

Torsion force is utilized in a number of medical applications to perform various complex and tedious tasks. For example, hospital beds, immobilization devices, wheelchairs, etc. The springs used in these applications store torsion force for their operation. Also, the curved and flexible motion of such equipment is possible only because of the existence of the torsion force.

Foshan Xufeng Medical Technology Co,.Ltd. - Hospital Bed, Hospital Stretcher

5. Ceiling Light Fitting

The light fitting system on the ceiling and the walls make use of two torsion springs to hold the bulb in position. The mechanism used in light fitting is flexible enough to remove and install the light source as per convenience. The two springs present in the holder lie parallel to each other for better gripping.

Pin on Shop World

6. Clock

Torsion force finds its major application in pendulum clocks. The torsion spring attached to the clock allows the continuous back and forth motion of the pendulum. A weight is suspended at the edge of the pendulum that helps it to move equal distance on either side.

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7. Cloth Pins

A cloth pin makes use of a torsion spring for its operation. Torsion springs are helical in shape and are capable to store the torsion force. The torsion spring is properly embedded in the structure of the cloth pin. When a mechanical force is applied, this structure gets deformed. The deformation helps the pin to clamp against the clothes.

Animated gif of clothespins and free images

8. Automotive 

Torsion force helps in the smooth and frictionless movement of an automotive vehicle. Torsion springs are used in a number of parts of a vehicle such as a chassis, gearbox, clutch, suspension system, etc. One of the major applications of torsion force can be clearly seen in the steering wheel of an automotive vehicle. In absence of the torsion force, the steering would have been rigid and unable to support the motion along a curved direction.

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9. Opening a Bottle

Opening a bottle requires the person to rotate the cap in the reverse direction in order to untwist it. This is done by applying an external force to the cap. It leads to the development of a torsion force, which supports both the opening and closing of a bottle.

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10. Wrench

A wrench is usually used to fasten or unfasten a combination of nut and bolt. The top part of the wrench is designed in such a way that it properly fits the nut. When the wrench is supplied with a rotary motion, it gets supplied to the nut as well; thereby allowing the person to loosen or tighten the combination.

This wrench. - GIF on Imgur

11. Opening a Jar

While opening a jar, the lid is held with a firm grip and a twist force is applied to rotate it. The twist force helps the lid to loosen up so that it can be removed easily.

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12. Turning Knob of Appliances

To turn on a gas, a burner knob is rotated. This rotation occurs when a twist or torsion force is applied by the person. Many other kitchen appliances make use of the similar twist force for their respective operations. For example, turning on the knob of a mixer grinder, increasing time period of a microwave, etc.

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13. Screw

A screw consists of a metallic head and multiple thread cuttings on its surface. When the pointed tip of the screw is placed on the top of a rigid surface and a twist force is applied to rotate it in a particular direction, it gets embedded inside the structure. When the twist force is applied in the opposite direction, it gets unfastened and comes out of the structure. This fastening and unfastening action of the screw depends on the type and number of threads present on the surface of the screw.

How could the person who made this gif be so cruel. : mildlyinfuriating

14. Winding up a Toy

A number of toys available in the market make use of torsion force for their operation. They consist of a key that is required to be rotated a several times and is then released so that the toy can exhibit motion. The energy generated by winding up the toy is stored by the key. This energy is then utilized to cause motion in the toy.

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15. Tuning a Radio

The traditional radios consisted of one or more knobs for tuning purpose. The proper signal is traced by adjusting the position of the knobs. This is done by applying a significant amount of twist force to the tuning knobs.

Tuning In | My Uninformed Opinion

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