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Many associate canted coil springs with spring-energized seals, but they can be used for much more. For example, canted coil springs provide a lightweight, easy-to-install alternative to traditional mechanical fasteners. 

Canted Coil Springs Fasteners

Canted coil springs can perform three different fastening tasks:

  • Latch: fastens two parts together
  • Lock: permanently fastens two parts together
  • Hold: holds and aligns two parts together

Note that both holding and latching allow for the parts to be disconnected and reconnected. However, if two pieces are locked together, they cannot be separated without either damaging the canted coil spring or the connected parts. Also, note that canted coil springs can be used for quick-release locking, which allows the lock to be bypassed for a quick, simple release. And in all fastening applications, the force required to latch, lock, or hold can be specified by the engineer and accomplished by varying the coil space, wire diameter, spring width, and height.

Advantages of Using Canted Coil Springs as Fasteners

There are several benefits to using canted coil springs instead of more traditional mechanical fasteners. For example, they are easy to install and require no special tools, shortening assembly time. They are also highly reliable and provide dependable performance over thousands of insertion/removal cycles.

Canted coil spring fasteners experience almost no compression set and provide precise, predictable forces even when subject to a wide range of temperatures. Furthermore, the individual coils compensate for mating surface irregularities, misalignment, and dimensional variations. 

Their lightweight, compact nature makes them ideal for use in applications where weight and available space are at a premium, and they can also reduce the complexity of assemblies. Finally, and perhaps most importantly, they can serve other functions besides fastening, such as grounding, service as multi-point conductors, and providing tunable EMI/RFI shielding.

Applications of Canted Coil Fasteners 

In the medical industry, canted coil springs are used for both latching and holding in various applications, including implantable and non-implantable devices and surgical devices, such as customized tools for use by specific surgeons. An example of an implantable device would be joint replacements that require highly reliable locking. 

The oil and gas industry depends on canted coil springs’ highly reliable mechanical fastening capabilities for advanced downhole tools where insertion and breakaway forces must be controllable. In the renewable energy market, canted coil springs work well as connectors within the highly confined environment of turbine nacelles. 

The automotive and aerospace industries find them an ideal approach to fastening in applications where SWaP (Size, Weight, and Power) is critical. In addition, canted coil springs are regularly used in the defense industry, where specific applications include aircraft system connectors and optoelectronics connectors. Finally, canted coil springs also work well for underwater, fluidic, and satellite/orbital connectors.

Conclusion

Canted coil springs are a simple, reliable, multi-use alternative to traditional mechanical fasteners. Benefits include the ability to compensate for dimensional changes, lightweight and compact nature, and their ability to reduce the complexity of systems. They can also serve as not only fasteners but EMI shields and multi-point conductors. And keep in mind that their use ranges from medically implantable devices where their ability to respond to particular insertion/removal forces is critical as well as the harsh and dangerous world of downhole tools in the oil and gas industry. 

FlexForce Canted Coil Springs

Advanced EMC’s FlexForce Canted Coil Springs are available in 300 Series Stainless Steel, Hastelloy, and copper alloys with gold, silver, or nickel plating. In addition to light, medium, and heavy load spring forces, the forces can be customized. Our FlexForce canted coil springs are available in wire diameters between 0.25 mm (0.010 inch) and 1.50 mm (0.059 inch) and coil widths between 1.5 mm (0.039 inch) and 15 mm (0.591 inch). However, other materials, finishes, and dimensions may be available.

 

Contact us at bvardeman@gmail.com or call us at (918)-994-7776 to learn more about the FlexForce canted coil springs and how they can benefit your designs.

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