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If You're In The Market For Retaining Rings or Snap Rings, Read This First

Aug 17, 2007
Constant section or uniform section rings are often interchangeable with stamped rings. They will function in a housing or on a shaft as well as or better than their stamped ring replacements. Interchangeability is offered in both internal and external series rings. Internal rings are designed to fit into a housing and spring up into a groove exerting radial tension outward from the ring center. External rings slide over a shaft and snap into a groove exerting radial tension toward the ring center.

There are many different types of retaining rings. Shown below are a few ways that retaining rings can be customized. They are material, shaped wire, and finish or coating.

Standard and Special Materials

Carbon spring steel (SAE 1060 - 1095) is the standard material used in the manufacture of retaining rings, snap rings and bearing rings. In addition, carbon steels SAE 1065 to 1095 are used to manufacture pretempered and hard drawn wire. The hardness is measured using Rockwell testing methods and ranges from 42 to 53 C scale with tensile strengths from 192,000 P.S.I. to 280,000 P.S.I. These hardnesses and tensiles are achieved by using the Mar Tempering process when it is necessary to attain maximum reaction, and allow greater working stresses of the ring. We have also made rings in stainless steel.

Cross Sectional Shapes

Cross sectional shapes are also available in great variety, dependent upon ring function or variable factors in mating components. The most popular sections used are rectangular, square, or round in shape. However, the Massillon plant facilities include a complete wire finishing mill that allows great versatility in meeting customer requirements in this area. Shown below are some of the many cross sectional profiles we are in a position to supply.

Ring Finish Information

Corrosion inhibition is achieved in a number of ways, with the standard being an oil base rust preventative for carbon steel rings. Special packaging is provided for parts subject to extreme conditions that cause corrosion. Please forward direct plating and finish questions to a Ring Masters Engineer or sales representative. Secondary finish operations are directly affected by ring diameter and gap dimension. The types of finishes we normally apply are zinc plating, chrome, copper and we can parkerize the ring. All of the finish work is down through an outside service.

The test methods for evaluating corrosion resistant finishes are used which meet all industry standards. The following shows the methods that allow strict adherence to customer specification regarding finish thickness and corrosion resistance:

1. Kocour Acid Dropping Test

2. Microsopic examiniation of cross sections

3. Salt Spray Test ASTM-B117
About the Author
Rick Johnston is a representative of Ring Masters LLC.
Ring Masters LLC specializes in constant section retaining rings for the automotive markets.
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