Belleville washers – big power, small space

Louise Smyth

When an application calls for high spring loading in a small space then Lee Spring believe that Belleville washers can often be the complete spring solution. Their conical configuration enables them to support high loads with relatively small deflections and solid heights compared to helical springs. Belleville Washers are often used to solve vibration, thermal expansion, relaxation, and bolt creep problems.

While Belleville washers can be used individually they are generally stacked in multiple cylinder or column configurations as: – all in parallel, all stacked opposite alternately, or a combination of the two with multiples stacked alternately face-to-face. In this way a single Belleville Spring Washer has a specific load for a given deflection. Two washers stacked in parallel will yield double the load of a single washer for the same deflection; three washers will yield triple the load; four washers will yield four times the load, etc. Alternatively, two washers stacked in series will yield double the deflection of a single washer for the same load; three washers will yield triple the deflection; four washers will yield four times the deflection, etc. Various series-parallel combinations therefore can provide a wide variety of combined results of load versus deflection for the stack.

Consequently, depending upon the application, the designer can: stack in "parallel" to increase load, stack in "series" to increase deflection or adjust the load and deflection of a washer stack by adding or removing individual washers and/or the sequence in which they are used, whether in series or parallel.