Retaining rings are a type of fastener that can hold components or assemblies onto a shaft. They’re typically used to replace conventional fasteners to reduce installation and material costs.
However, they can also serve applications in unique and creative ways where other fasteners fall short or are simply too costly.
Retaining rings have been used in diverse applications, such as retaining bearings in jump rope handles or to hold a sleeve in place to protect a rubber transmission cable. The ability of retaining rings to work in complex fastener applications is limited only by the imagination of the designer.
In another example, retaining rings were used for a completely different project: a fuel pump repair kit, designed for a typical lawn tractor. In this application, the body of the fuel pump contained two openings to accommodate the fittings for the fuel hoses.
This required depressing two tabs on either side of the openings so that the fittings could be properly inserted.
To be effective, however, it was necessary to retain pressure on both tabs with minimum effort so that the fittings could actually be installed. Since a retaining ring is designed to be released in a groove — and the elastic properties of the ring exert a specific force in that groove to retain parts in a housing or on a shaft — it seemed the ideal choice.
After careful consideration, the project designer chose an HOI retaining ring because the inverted lugs of this ring fit perfectly into the tab slots. By expanding the internal ring (which would be just the opposite if it were going to be installed in a housing) and inserting the lugs into the tabs, the ring depressed the tabs sufficiently so that the fittings could then be easily installed.
Once the ring was removed, the fittings were locked into place, ready to accept the hoses connected to the fuel supply.
Read the full case study from Rotor Clip here.
Rotor Clip Company