How a Snap Ring Is Designed to Meet the Highest Standards


Snap rings, also referred to as retaining rings, are fasteners that hold components or assemblies onto a shaft or in a housing/bore when installed. These fasteners are essential in operations for keeping parts in place, and their design is purposefully engineered for whatever process you may need.

Although “ring” is slightly a misnomer, snap rings are actually C-shaped and not complete circles. The “snap” part of a snap ring does describe it perfectly, though, as snap rings have high tensile strength that allows it to snap into a groove and stay in place. The gap that creates the C-shape allows the ring to expand or contract.

The material that makes up a snap ring is important, too. Many snap rings are made of carbon steel, vanadium chrome steel alloy, or beryllium copper. The reason to choose one of these materials is that they each can withstand extreme pressure and heat. 

Snap rings are classified in one of two categories: external snap rings and internal snap rings. As the name implies, external snap rings wrap around a shaft to retain assemblies. These types of snap rings are used for retaining bearings on axles or in gear assemblies inside of a transmission.

Internal snap rings are installed inside a bore or a housing to keep components from coming out. These snap rings are used in the installation of a piston pin or gudgeon pin in a floating piston assembly. 

Consider the demands of your application to figure out which is right for your project. You should also think about cost and availability. Next, determine what installation practices will be involved. Whatever your application needs, allow Mid-West Spring and Stamping to help find the right spring for the job. As a premier custom springs manufacturer, we craft compression springs in a variety of compression types, shapes, and materials to your individual specifications.

Mid-West Spring and Stamping is committed to creating more value for our customers with fewer resources through continuous improvement and the elimination of waste. Join the multitudes of customers that rely on us to optimize the fit, form, and function for their desired outcomes at a competitive cost. Request a quote today, or call us at 800-424-0244.