Springs and retaining rings have been essential components in aircraft manufacture since building the first “flying machines” over 100 years ago. In those early days, it would have been some uncomplicated coil springs and leaf springs. Compare that with a modern airliner that includes thousands of different springs on numerous assemblies throughout the plane.
Today’s aerospace engineers face many design challenges, including the requirement to make assemblies more compact and lighter in weight. For over thirty years TFC's engineering team have assisted companies across the sector to achieve these design goals by specifying Smalley® wave springs in place of traditional coil springs, and Spirolox Retaining Rings in place of standard circlips.
Wave springs are not a new concept, Smalley® as the global leader in this field have been manufacturing them for over fifty years and have proven their value in a wide variety of applications and industry sectors. Wave springs have multiple uses in Aerospace engineering; cabin applications, fuel systems, auxiliary power units, one recent program included the design of a bearing preload spring to allow for both tolerance variation during assembly and thermal expansion during flight.
The main advantage of selecting Wave Springs is their space-saving properties. They exhibit reductions in operation heights due to a shorter solid height. The flat-wire springs operate on a bending principle to generate the required spring force to tight tolerances.
Spirolox or Spiral Retaining Rings are supplied in line with designated Aerospace specifications. They are interchangeable with the standard snap ring and circlip grooves to provide a full 360-degree retaining surface in a range of materials.
TFC engineers regularly work with design teams to develop bespoke wave springs and rings for application in both commercial and military aircraft. These can be produced quickly and economically with no tooling costs, making them perfect for large runs, prototypes and midstream design changes.
TFC Ltd is an AS9100c/AS9120 approved provider of fasteners, components and supply chain services to industry.