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Problem solving by design

Problem solving by design

Spirolox Retaining Rings, in their various different forms, solve problems for design engineers in many applications across numerous industry sectors. Simon Ward of TFC looks at typical design considerations for these products.

The most significant features of Spirolox Retaining Rings are that they have no ears to interfere with mating components during assembly thus making assemblies neater and more compact. In addition, since there is no gap, you are provided with a full 360º retaining shoulder of a uniform section. Spirolox rings are manufactured by edge coiling flat wire to precise diameters, this process requires no special tooling, so bespoke designs and/or special materials can be economically produced within short lead times.

Spirolox rings are available in two basic types, internal or external and assembly could not be simpler. Unlike a circlip, they do not require special pliers; you can simply open the coils by hand, insert one end of the ring into the groove and then wind the ring into place by pressing down around the circumference until the entire ring is securely located into the groove.  

For higher volume applications we can provide design assistance for simple plug and plunger tooling to suit both manual and more automated processes.

Spirolox rings are available as standard in carbon spring steel and 302 or 316 stainless steel. For more demanding applications where temperatures are a concern or where the rings are operating in a corrosive environment, more exotic alloys may need to be used. In these cases TFC can offer several different grades of Inconel, Elgiloy, A286 stainless steel and Hastelloy. Other applications may demand non-magnetic materials such as Beryllium Copper or additional processes such as passivation or cadmium plating.

While sizes up to 250mm are the norm, the unique edge-coiling method of manufacture means retaining rings in excess of 2000mm diameter can be produced and there is no special tooling required.

Standard ranges have been specifically designed to cater for the majority of applications, but TFC is often called upon to develop bespoke designs. 

This includes special materials, specific diameters or ring sections, and additional features such as special ends, balancing or locking features. By utilising its vast selection of stock wire sizes and over 35 years of experience with these products, TFC can readily design and manufacture to suit your application.

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