FAQ: Internal Retaining Rings
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Spirolox® retaining rings are an alternative to a stamped retaining ring. Unlike a traditional stamped ring, Spirolox rings are designed without ears or lugs. This prevents any interference with mating components and creates a uniform cross section. Instead of using the ears or lugs for installation and removal, these rings can be wound into a groove and removed with a simple screwdriver. No special tools or pliers are required for installation and removal. This design is achieved by coiling flat wire through a process called Edgewinding™. To create a stronger retaining ring, consider increasing the number of turns, wire thickness and adjusting the radial wall. Rings with at least two turns also provide a 360° retaining surface.
Standard Spirolox® rings are separated into categories based on the load required for the application. These categories are as follows: Light (VH and VHM series), Medium (WH series), Medium Heavy (WHT series), and Heavy (WHM series). The DNH, EH, and VHM series are all Spirolox® rings that are specifically designed in metric sizes. DNH, EH, WH, and WHM series of rings are specifically designed to meet the quality specifications for Military and Aerospace applications
Constant section rings are a heavier duty retaining ring that are also coiled from flat wire. These rings are specified for impact loading applications and can typically be found in automotive or industrial assemblies. Internal constant section ring series are FHE and the XAH. The XAH series rings are interchangeable with Eaton style snap rings. The metric equivalents of both are the FH and HDX series. Internal constant section rings are available with a wide variety of end types from U-Notch to Scalloped.
Hoopster® retaining rings are designed with an extremely low profile and are used in applications with limited space. These internal retaining rings offer minimal radial projection and can operate within a shallow groove. Internal Hoopster rings are classified depending on whether or not the ring is designed with bent ends for removal. The HHU (imperial) and HHMU (metric) series are designed without a removal notch, meaning the ends nearly meet to create a perfect circle. In contrast the HH (imperial) and HHM (metric) series are designed with a removal provision so one end of the ring is slightly crimped. This makes it easier to remove the ring inside a housing.
The Internal WaveRing® series (WHW) are a unique style of retaining ring. These rings have a wave allowing them to compress as well as perform similarly to a standard retaining ring. Wave Rings can compensate for extended tolerance of stacked components. These rings can reduce vibration within an assembly. This is possible because the Wave Ring is applying pressure against the groove and against the assembly components. Custom Wave Rings are also available in a single turn configuration.
Smalley offers a variety of standard internal retaining rings, from Spirolox® to WaveRings®. But did you know that any of these rings can be customized for your application? Material thickness, alloy, number of turns, and end type can all be designed to meet your specific application requirements. Challenge a Smalley engineer to design an internal retaining ring for your application.