5 Common Types of Retaining Rings

Retaining rings by Monroe

Retaining rings offer a simple solution to secure parts onto a shaft or bore. Also known as snap rings, they are circular-shaped fasteners. You can slide a retaining ring over a shaft or into a bore. Retaining rings can secure parts in place. With that said, there are several different types of retaining rings, some of which include the following.

#1) Axiallaxy Assembled

Axially assembled retaining rings are among the most common. They consist of rings that support internal and external applications. You can use them internally by placing them inside of a bore. And you can use axially assembled retaining rings externally by placing them over a shaft. Most axially assembled retaining rings have small holes in them, which you can use to install them inside of a bore or over a shaft.

#2) Radially Assembled

Radially assembled retaining rings are designed exclusively for use with shafts. You can’t install them in a bore. Rather, you can only install radially assembled retaining rings over a shaft. Unlike axially assembled retaining rings, most radially assembled retaining rings don’t have holes. They work simply by snapping over a shaft.

#3) Beveled

There are also beveled retaining rings. As their name suggests, beveled retaining rings have a beveled design. They don’t consist of a circular design. Instead, beveled retaining rings have a beveled edge — typically at a 15-degree angle. This beveled edge prevents the retaining ring from moving around. It will essentially hold the retaining ring in place so that neither it nor the part with which it’s used will move.

#4) Locking

Locking retaining rings are those that are designed to lock in place. Some of them are axially assembled, whereas others are radially assembled. Regardless, when you install a locking retaining ring, it will lock in place. Most locking retaining rings are one-time use only. After installing them, you won’t be able to remove them without breaking them.

#5) Constant Section

Another common type of retaining rings is constant section. Constant section retaining rings are characterized by the use of a uniform body. They feature a uniform, circular design. The diameter of any given point in a constant section retaining ring is the same. Most constant section retaining rings are made of round wire, which can consist of aluminum, copper, steel or other metals.

Retaining rings are commonly used to secure parts to shafts and bores. When shopping for them, you may encounter several types of retaining rings. Axially assembled, radially assembled, beveled, locking and constant section are all types of retaining rings.

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