In many applications, flat wire wave springs offer significant advantages over traditional spring designs such as coils and discs.
Tried and true coil springs and disc springs work well in many engineering applications. However, it pays to compare these familiar options to another innovative spring design—flat-wire wave springs. Depending on the application, single- and multi-turn wave springs can offer distinct advantages over their more traditional counterparts.
Two of the most compelling reasons to specify wave springs involve force considerations including an impressive force-to-work height ratio and the ability to provide consistent force over a wide range of deflections. Other key advantages such as axial and radial space savings, absence of torsional loads, improved dimensional tolerances and increased travel make these unique wave spring elements clear winners in a wide variety of engineered systems and challenging work environments. For example, single-turn wave springs often replace stamped wave washers in applications from fluid power seals to noise attenuators. Multi-turn wave springs typically replace stacked disc springs or coiled springs in both power transmission and fluid power systems.
Here’s a closer look at the important technical benefits of wave springs and some applications in which wave springs shine:
The ability to make fine linear adjustments across the entire force range is a key benefit of wave springs. Compared to coil or disc springs, wave springs offer deflection curves with a wider and flatter linear force region. Due to this unique design feature, wave springs have a linear force between 30 and 70% deflections, making it easier to meet specific spring force requirements. Coil and disc springs fall short in this regard due to significantly narrower linear force regions. Consider a few examples where this feature is especially useful: