Problem solving by design

Written by: TFC Europe Ltd | Published:

Spirolox Retaining Rings in their various different forms, solve problems for design engineers in many applications and numerous industry sectors. TFC Product Manager Simon Ward answers some typical questions customers pose when considering these products.

Q) Why would I consider using one of your Spirolox rings in place of a conventional circlip?

A) The most significant features of our 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.

Q) How do I assemble the Spirolox Rings?

A) 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.

Q) What materials and finishes are available?

A) 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 “nonmagnetic” materials such as Beryllium Copper or additional processes such as passivation or cadmium plating.

Q) Your catalogue seems to limit sizes to around 10 inches or 250mm, can you manufacture larger diameter rings?

The unique edge-coiling method of manufacture means we can produce retaining rings in excess of 2000mm diameter and there is no special tooling required.

Q) Although you have extensive standard ranges, my application is going to need a special design, what can TFC offer?

Our standard ranges have been specifically designed to cater for the majority of applications, but we are 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 utilizing our vast selection of stock wire sizes and over 35 years of experience with these products we can readily design and manufacture to suit your application.

Call now to speak to our expert team:
+44(0)1435 866011

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