Washers have different purposes ranging from load distribution and shock absorption to electrical connection and insulation. The variety of ways that washers find their purpose have resulted to the development of several kinds of washers, which include flat washers, conical washers, and helical-spring washers.
Why Washers Matter
Washers have become a necessity for a variety of reasons, some of which include the following:
- To compensate for the expansion and contraction or cold flow of material
- To compensate for small dimensional changes in assembled components
- To eliminate rattling
- To maintain fastener tension or tightness
- To absorb intermittent shock loads by functioning as a spring capable of providing controlled reactions under dynamic loads
Different Kinds of Spring Washers
If you have set your sights to using a spring washer for your intended purpose, make sure that you choose the right kind.
- Single Wave Washers: These washers are designed for application requiring low loads with high deflection.
- Multiple Wave Washers: These washers can bear heavier load compared to single wave washers with some loss in deflection capacity.
- Conical Washers: Belleville spring washers are the best examples for conical washers as they can bear loads along the axis either statistically or dynamically.
- Finger Washers: These are known for their split construction with protruding fingers that act to reduce noise and vibration instances.
- Dome Washers: These washers can bear heavier loads with small overall deflection.
- Crescent Washers: These are meant for lighter loads and can produce a small deflection, which provides a uniform spring rate throughout the washer’s deflection.
Just as there are different kinds of washers, there are also different dimensions that depend upon the deflection.
- Washer envelope: This is the space allocated for a washer’s deflection.
- Plate thickness: This refers to the width of the material used for washer’s construction.
- Cone height: This is the measurement of the washer between its highest and lowest points while at rest which should not be more than 40% of the plate thickness.
- Diameter of center rotation: This the distance between the center points of the washer flanges.
- Diameter across slots: This is the measurement of the washer minus the sloped flanges.
- Inner Diameter: It is the width across the bore hole of the washer.
- Outer Diameter: It is the straight-line width across the washer to its furthest edges.
Factors in Using the Appropriate Washer
Even if washers seem to look similar, each kind of washer has a specifically designed purpose. If you’re planning to use a washer, you need to know which washer to use and when to use it properly and effectively.
Here are some of the most important factors to consider in choosing the right washer for the job:
- Assess the amount of load that the washer will be burdened with, as well as the static and dynamic load. Static load is the basic function of the spring washer to retain load. Meanwhile, dynamic load occurs when the washer is used as a regularly flexing spring wherein the elasticity of the material must not go beyond how much load it can actually absorb.
- The load and deflection performance determines the amount of load that the washer can take until it flattens out. The thickness of the washer and its load-bearing characteristics should be considered.
We hope this comprehensive guide on spring washers can help you decide on the right washer for your needs. By following the tips above, expect your spring washers to last long and your systems going according to plan.