A ring clip is another name for an E Type External Circlip — also known as an E-ring or an E-clip. Circlips are fasteners that fit into radial grooves in shafts and holes that are sprung to ensure they remain securely in place.
All circlips are similar to a C-shape, which allows them to expand as they fit around a shaft or compress as they fit into a hole.
Once assembled, circlips function as a shoulder to retain components on a shaft or in a hole. They provide a secure, vibration-resistant, and compact method of fastening for such applications.
These components are widely used in machinery, including simple hand tools to complex aircraft.
Standard circlips, also known as snap rings, come in internal and external versions. External circlips fit into a grove around the outside of a shaft and internal circlips fit into a groove within a hole.
Standard circlips have a small hole at each end. This allows the tips of a special a circlip tool, or needle-nose pliers, to be inserted in order to either open or close the clip for assembly and disassembly.
A ring clip, more commonly referred to as an E Type circlip, is an external circlip which does not require any special tools. It’s designed to be pushed onto or off of a shaft using common tools such as pliers or a screwdriver.
The typical size of an E clip is the maximum diameter of grooves for which the clip is designed. Other important dimensions are the throat width and the free diameter. These are both taken with the ring clip in its relaxed state. The throat width is the size of the opening and the free diameter is the outermost diameter.