In many areas of technology, in the automotive or aviation industry, in medical technology, electrical engineering or in the tool sector, it happens again and again that certain parts have to be held or fixed.
General information about stainless steel retaining clips
To solve these holding problems, holding clips with special spring properties are often very practical. The advantages of such retaining clips are mostly in the simple and flexible handling. Retaining clips are quick and easy to assemble and disassemble. Fast and flexible assembly options, also for the parts to be held, are another reason for their great popularity, which results in a wide range of applications.
Properties of stainless steel
Light surface cleaning
Good resistance to chemical and microbiological influences
Can be used in a wide temperature range
Most commonly used grades of stainless steel for retaining clips
Stainless steel retaining clips are usually manufactured as stamped and bent parts on CNC bending machines. The planning and preparation of each individual work step from the flat sheet metal blank to the finished bent retaining clip requires a great deal of experience from the retaining clip manufacturer in order to achieve an optimal result. The development of the later finished bent part is punched out by a punching tool and fed fully automatically to the CNC bending machine.
Depending on the complexity of the finished spring steel clip, more or fewer individual subsequent bending steps are necessary. In each work step, one or, if possible, several partial bends are made. This is done using prefabricated bending tools that correspond to the later geometry. The adjustable servo axes of the CNC bending machine carry out each individual partial bend precisely and reproducibly.
Interesting facts about spring technology
Retaining clips are usually made of rust and acid-resistant V2A steel with the material no. 1.4310 (X10CrNi18-8). This high-quality spring band steel is weldable, easy to polish and particularly easy to form. Up to the yield point, this material shows a deformation behavior that is proportional to the force when subjected to bending stress. Depending on the geometric design of the clip, a progressive or degressive spring characteristic can also be achieved.
Retaining clip areas of application
Retaining clips in the form of contact springs are used in the electronics industry, among other things, and serve as installation aids.
Another frequent use of retaining clips is in the automotive industry to hold hoses and lines in the engine area in a desired position so that they are not damaged by the constant vibrations while driving.
Furthermore, retaining clips are also required in medical technology, for example in the manufacture of syringes, ampoules and other sensitive medical products. Here it is particularly important during production that these products are not clamped and held too loosely, but also not too tightly. Here, too, a high level of knowledge of spring technology is important.
It is often just necessary to make several connections between adjacent components and to hold them with different forces. In such cases, the experience of the retaining clip manufacturer is particularly important. The correct and suitable geometry is already important here during the design and dimensioning of the punched development. The length, width and shape of the tongues of the individual contact tongues, which are intended to hold the neighboring components in place with different forces, must be designed in such a way that all the holding requirements are also met.
Retaining clip surface treatment
Proper surface treatment such as vibratory grinding, which is also referred to in practice as tumbling, is also part of the flawless function of retaining clips. Electropolishing, chemical blackening or painting and the classic passivation also belong to the surface treatment.
Retaining clips are an important tool when it comes to attaching cables, hoses or other objects. The resilient properties of retaining clips are one of the most important arguments in favor of using retaining clips. With the right design of retaining clips and their geometries, almost all retaining problems that occur in practice can be solved. However, it is always necessary for the manufacturer to have a great deal of experience in the field of spring technology.