The FRC limitations for a high load spring

Does the FRC have any load limitations for springs?

I believe the only limitation is that it must be used in a safe implementation.

In general, anything the manual does not explicitly prohibit is legal. In this case there is no number that limits springs, but please keep safety in mind.

It has been my experience that when going through inspection with a robot with a spring the inspectors are mostly concerned with what steps we took to contain the spring in the event of a catastrophic failure, not too different than the shielding placed over the shooter wheels of robots last year.

I’ve had similar experiences with stored energy devices. (Pre-Charged Pneumatics and Springs)

The primary concerns are those relating to safety, specifically safety measures are in place to prevent injury should the spring fail, and how well designed/thought out/well made the ‘locking’ device was, and if it was possible for the locking device to fail.

Your results may vary, but assuming that you’ve done your homework regarding the spring’s loading and it’s attachment/release mechanism, you shouldn’t have a problem. If you can produce documentation to show that whatever mechanism you’ve built was designed to handle the loading, or that whatever parts you’ve purchased can handle the loading (say, if you’re using a COTS latch of some kind), even better. Now, if you’re using a run of the mill gate latch to hold back a few hundred pounds of force, and the latch wasn’t intended to stop anything more than 50-60lbs, you’re going to have a problem…

Also, regardless of the forces involved, it’s a good practice to have some sort of ‘lock out’ plan in place for when the robot is being moved to and from the field, or any other time where a mechanism may be loaded, but not necessarily ‘in use’. Something along the lines of a locking pin, or a ‘remove before flight’ pin is a good idea, especially if it’s something that’s rated well in excess of the worst case loading involved.