Spiral Retaining Rings can operate in an internal and an external groove at the same time. Spiral retaining rings have many great benefits for the ID/OD Lock, some of which include concealed fastening, no required assembly tooling, and a 360° rotational capacity. With a spiral retaining ring, the application is tamper-proof and aesthetically pleasing.
In Fig.1, the ring is initially installed in the housing groove. When the mating component in the assembly is added, the ring compresses into the groove. The groove is deep enough for the ring's radial wall to fit into as the component slides into position. Finally, when the grooves meet, the ring snaps into the shaft groove (groove depth equals half the ring’s radial wall) while still in the housing groove.
In the pneumatic fitting application (Fig.2), a 2-turn spiral retaining ring creates an ID/OD lock, permitting the 360° rotation of the nut. This permanent assembly offers an economical method of holding two components together.
Spiral retaining rings offer many additional advantages that can help an engineer in designing a product. Whether you are designing a product that is an internal component or the final end product, a greater focus is being paid to product image. Aesthetically, spiral retaining rings provide for a cleaner look with no obtrusive, protruding ears or bulges. The uniform cross-section of a spiral ring and availability of stainless steel allows for the ring to blend into the application.
A spiral retaining ring has replaced a conventional circlip in the socket wrench (Fig.3). A 2-turn, external spiral retaining ring in stainless steel now appears to be part of the stainless assembly rather then another component.
Smalley Steel Ring Company is based in Lake Zurich, IL, USA. www.smalley.com