With their precise and controlled characteristics they are becoming ever more recognised as ideal components where high forces, are combined with limited space, precise movement, long-term reliability and virtually maintenance-free operation.
Some innovative automotive applications include a slotted disc spring for alternators providing tolerance compensation, stress and vibration damping together with resistance to high temperatures, corrosion and salt water attack. A disc spring pack is used for dynamic pressure control within an exhaust pipe assembly involving metallic and ceramic elements. Self securing disc spring used on differential gear shaft to eliminate circlip. Parallel assembly spring pack used in an electro-hydraulic parking brake to complement the electro-mechanical lock/release mechanism.
Machine shop applications include disc springs providing piston lock to withstand stamping forces on 2000 tonne stamping press, together with spring pack assembly used within a tool holder for drilling, turning or milling applications.
General engineering uses include slotted disc springs used for a compressor clutch, with a single disc spring providing sealing pressure for a feeder valve used with liquid plastics or resins. Disc springs have also been used within a large Cardan joint assembly used as a rolling mill drive unit.
Other unusual applications include spring packs used to clamp thyristors between conductor rails in transformers, providing length compensation during temperature changes. Also being used within sonic ground boring equipment, together with fixed stop absorption for vehicles or weights or other large masses such as ships.
Interesting individual component applications include a combi-screw incorporating a captive slotted disc spring washer to provide a positive pressure-sensitive assembly. A series disc spring pack assembly has been used within a ball castor to prevent axial force overloads, with rotary ball-bearing cages incorporating backlash compensation provided by either plain or slotted disc springs.
Disc springs combine the highest forces within the smallest height parameters compared to other spring mechanisms and are generally applied when high forces are needed for compensation due to thermal expansion or for tolerances. Individual discs can be combined in series, parallel or mixed stack combinations to provide custom designed characteristics to the customer requirements.