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Smalley - the inventor of the edge-wound wave spring with more than 100 years of experience in the field of precision manufacturing - claims to be the engineer's choice when it comes to providing customers with retaining rings, wave springs and snap rings that are perfectly tailored to the respective application. Headquartered in Lake Zurich, Illinois, the company always has a good 11,000 standard parts in 30 configurations and 400 sizes in stock, so that delivery requests can be fulfilled promptly at any time. If a suitable standard part is not available, an expert team of engineers will ensure that a customized part is manufactured quickly and cost-effectively from a material of your choice. Whether prototype or series production, Smalley's no-tooling-charges manufacturing process is designed to provide maximum design flexibility without breaking budgets or schedules.

What is a wave spring?

At this year's HANNOVER MESSE, Smalley will be presenting its core product, the wave spring. But what exactly is it? Wave springs are a type of compression spring that, as mentioned above, have been around for more than 100 years. Unlike normal springs, which are made from round wire, wave springs are made from flat wire and have a unique design that has multiple waves per coil. This allows the wave spring to offer the same spring force as a standard spring while being only half the height of a normal round wire spring. Because of this unique design of the wave spring and its unique approach to compression, Smalley says it also offers unique advantages over conventional coil springs. Some of the reasons why designers should consider using a wave spring instead of a coil spring are listed below.

Narrow axial installation space - working height can be reduced by up to 50 percent

Thanks to several shafts per layer, wave springs have the same spring force as conventional spiral compression springs - with a significantly lower working height. In addition, wave springs can be installed in smaller spring chambers due to their reduced working height, which means that the overall assembly is smaller. And since the production of smaller and lighter assemblies requires less time and materials, wave springs can achieve significant cost savings.

Greater flexibility for designers

The aforementioned no-tooling-charges precision manufacturing method ensures fast and cost-effective custom designs. Smalley is able to design wave springs perfectly tailored to the customer's requirements, be it in terms of the number of coils, end types or the type and thickness of material, to name just a few customizable parameters. The fact that Smalley can implement virtually any design is thanks to the edge winding process, in which flat wire is wound over the high edge. Edge winding enables diameters of any size without the need for additional tools.

Versatile applications

Wave springs have proven to be a reliable solution in many different industries and applications. Whether small or large diameters, light or heavy-duty parts, carbon steel or special materials: Smalley's wave springs prove themselves reliably every day in tens of thousands of applications. From ordinary consumer goods such as the smartwatch on your wrist or the coffee machine in your kitchen to oil wells deep underground and even into outer space: there are virtually no limits to the possible applications of wave springs.