Stacking springs? There’s another option

29 Jul.,2022


wave spring

Welcome back to Smalley Talk where our engineering experts answer questions about retaining ring and wave spring design and performance. This week, one of our leading customers within the aerospace connector industry questioned one of our Area Sales Managers about our Smalley Hoopster retaining rings and single turn wave springs.

Can you use a Hoopster retaining ring without a groove? Will friction be enough to keep it in?

Hoopster retaining rings, just like any retaining ring or circlip, are a removable shoulder you can incorporate into your design. Most retaining rings need to be installed into a groove to be properly positioned and resist any thrust load it is subjected to. A Hoopster without a groove will likely not have enough friction generated from ‘cling’ to hold its position if a thrust load is applied.


Is it possible to stack your Smalley single turn wave springs as you might stack disc springs? Or do they require solid contact points on each end?

Yes, single turn wave springs like our YSSR or YSSB series can be stacked to get similar characteristics to disc springs. If you want to increase the spring rate, wave springs can be stacked in parallel, similar to nested wave spring design. If you want to decrease the spring rate and increase your deflection, single-turn wave spring would need to be stacked with a shim separating each spring to simulate one of our Crest-to-Crest® springs. However, in both instances, this increases the number of parts required to perform that function.

Many of our customers prefer to use just one spring to get the spring characteristics they require. Not having to orient multiple parts in a specific pattern as is required when using disc springs, avoids potential mistakes during assembly. If you have a situation where stacking springs is required, you may want to consider using a special design to meet your specific needs. All our Smalley products are made without the need for special tooling and prototypes or small production quantities can be made quickly and economically. If you have an application requiring non-standard items please contact our engineering staff who will be pleased to assist.


That™s all for now, check back next time when the team will answer more Smalley product related questions. You can see more blog entries and other application examples on our technical articles page.