What is a Tension Bar?

Malcolm Tatum
Malcolm Tatum

Tension bars are solid or tubular bars that are usually equipped with some type of spring mechanism. Bars of this type are used for a wide range of purposes, including use with window treatments, chain link fences, and even various types of doors. Depending on the intended purpose for the tension bar, the spring may be contained within the body of the bar, or attached to the exterior. There are also bars that do not require the presence of any type of spring, and are used specifically to align and attach two different objects as part of a construction process.


One of the more common examples of a tension bar is found with the construction of a chain link fence. In this application, the bar is normally a solid piece of metal that is threaded through the end of the link fabric. The chain link tension bar is then used to stretch the fabric into a taut position, and is secured to the corner, end, or gate post with the aid of tension bands. Doing so not only helps to hold the fence in position, but also increase the strength and stability of the entire fence.

There are tension bar products designed as exercise equipment. For example, the bar may be constructed using an spring mechanism that can be adjusted to provide different levels of resistance. Equipment featuring this type of bar may be utilized to strengthen the legs or arms. In this application, the exercises are done without weights, making the exercise devices ideal for home use or in other areas where workout space may be at a premium.

The tension bar is also helpful around the house. A tension towel bar works well in smaller bathrooms, as well as in kitchens. A curtain tension bar works well with some window treatment designs, especially those that are intended to fill a window casement rather than frame the span of the window. With these types of bars, there is normally an internal spring mechanism that makes it possible to adjust the length of the bar to the right dimensions, creating a snug fit that allows the bar to stay in place without the need for additional hardware.

Depending on the design and intended purpose for the tension bar, devices of this type may be relatively inexpensive or somewhat costly. Bars designed for home use can often be found in home decorating stores or discount retail outlets, while chain link bars are available at most building supply establishments. Most tension bars are designed to provide years of service, and may not require replacement for decades.

Malcolm Tatum
Malcolm Tatum

After many years in the teleconferencing industry, Michael decided to embrace his passion for trivia, research, and writing by becoming a full-time freelance writer. Since then, he has contributed articles to a variety of print and online publications, including wiseGEEK, and his work has also appeared in poetry collections, devotional anthologies, and several newspapers. Malcolm’s other interests include collecting vinyl records, minor league baseball, and cycling.

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