The world of motorsport presents designers with some specific challenges and when a leading manufacturer of specialist gear technology was faced with circlip failure on an idler shaft, an alternative solution was required. It was discovered the 25mm diameter shaft intermittently exceeded over 15,000 r.p.m causing the conventional snap-ring, responsible for maintaining the assembly, to come out of the groove and cause catastrophic failure.
Our Technical Sales Engineering team recommended using a variant on the familiar and popular Smalley Spirolox Retaining Rings that included a unique self-locking feature. This variant makes them ideal for applications where high rotational speeds are involved or, where the effects of vibration, rapid acceleration or impact loading is problematic.
Self-locking rings provide a mechanical interference via a small tab on the ring that locks into a corresponding slot in the opposite turn and prevents the ring from expanding out of the groove as a result of centrifugal forces at high rotational speeds.
Because the same method of manufacture, used for standard parts, was employed to produce the self-locking ring, the replacement component, which fits directly into the existing shaft groove, was available within 3-4 weeks. The customer was able to acquire a cost-effective solution without the need to manufacture expensive mechanical restrictor devices required to prevent the original circlip from failing under extreme operating conditions.