A torsion spring is a spring that works by torsion or twisting; that is, a flexible elastic object that stores mechanical energy when it is twisted. When it is twisted, it exerts a force (actually torque) in the opposite direction, proportional to the amount (angle) it is twisted. There are two types. A torsion bar is a straight bar of metal or rubber that is subjected to twisting (shear stress) about its axis by torque applied at its ends. A more delicate form used in sensitive instruments, called a torsion fiber consists of a fiber of silk, glass, or quartz under tension, that is twisted about its axis. The other type, a helical torsion spring, is a metal rod or wire in the shape of a helix (coil) that is subjected to twisting about the axis of the coil by sideways forces (bending moments) applied to its ends, twisting the coil tighter. This terminology can be confusing because in a helical torsion spring the forces acting on the wire are actually bending stresses, not torsional (shear) stresses.