The Common Types of Retaining Rings

Retaining rings, sometimes referred to as circlips or snap rings, are metallic fasteners that are placed on a groove or shaft, or placed within a bore or housing to retain an assembly of parts. Retaining rings are fairly easy to install, and despite their simplistic, compact design, they are able to secure parts with ease for a number of applications. As there are a few common types of retaining ring components with varying designs and uses, it is important to have a general understanding of each and how they may be used.

Spiral retaining rings come in single-turn and multi-turn variations, the latter being fairly common. With a spiral-wound, multi-turn retaining ring, rounded edge wire materials are used to create two or more curvatures before being rolled flat. As the material edge is coiled, a gapless ring is established with an angle of retention reaching upwards of 360 degrees. If space is restricted in an assembly, one may find benefit in using tapered retaining rings as they do not use any assembly lugs.

Push-on retaining rings are another common type, and they are self-locking as they apply force and friction against the shaft or housing to ensure that all mechanical components stay in place. Push-on rings are beneficial as they do not need grooves or special machining for their installation, and they can hold parts in lighter duty applications with ease while under low thrust loads. Generally, push-on retaining rings are made from materials such as beryllium copper, carbon spring steel, and stainless steel, and they can be finished with numerous substances based on the needs of the application. As push-on retaining rings come in external and internal self-locking designs, it is important that one procures the right type for their assembly.

If the application in question requires high performance in heavy-duty or impact loading environments, the constant section snap ring is a good choice. These components feature a uniform section in which the material used for construction is of the same width at any point across the circumference. As compared to tapered and spiral retaining rings, constant section retaining rings are fairly low in cost. Constant section snap rings are similar to spiral retaining rings with a space-saving design that features no assembly lugs, and they do not require any specialized tooling to be installed and removed.

While the aforementioned retaining ring types are all commonly used in many settings, customers can procure customized types to ensure that all needs and requirements of the application are met. Rings made from coiling are the easiest to customize, especially when a specific end type or configuration is necessary. Additionally, custom retaining rings can be produced in a wide range of sizes to meet varying projects and assemblies. If you are in the market for top-quality retaining rings that you can steadily rely on, let the experts at Complete Sourcing Solutions help you secure all you require with time and cost savings.

At Complete Sourcing Solutions, we provide competitive pricing and rapid lead times on over 2 billion new, used, obsolete, and hard-to-find components that have been sourced from thousands of leading manufacturers we trust. With our online RFQ service, you can receive customized quotes on items of interest in a matter of minutes, and we do our best to meet time constraints with expedited shipping through the use of our expansive supply chain network. We are also fully dedicated to ensuring the satisfaction of our customers, proudly operating with AS9120B, ISO 9001:2015, and FAA AC 00-56B accreditation as a result of our steadfast commitments to quality control measures and export compliance practices. If you have any questions or concerns regarding our offerings or services, do not hesitate to give us a call or email at any time, and we would be more than happy to assist you however necessary! Get started today and see how Complete Sourcing Solutions can serve as your strategic sourcing partner for all your operational needs.


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June 21, 2022

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