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Our engineers were faced with a problem when asked by one of our leading automotive electric motor OEM’s to supply a 33mm external retaining ring capable of withstanding rotational speeds in excess of 17,000 rpm. Conventional external retaining rings (circlips) are limited by centrifugal forces when the forces involved are sufficient to lift the ring out of the groove and, in this case, our standard Spirolox® rings could only be considered suitable for rotational speeds of around 8,000 rpm.

The solution was found by supplying a special custom designed ‘Self-Locking’ ring that allowed the ring to function properly at higher rpm’s. The self-locking feature utilises a small tab on the inside turn of the ring that locks into a corresponding slot on the outside turn. In addition to withstanding higher rotational speeds, the ring is also capable of sustaining vibration, functioning under rapid acceleration and absorb a degree of impact loading.

All our Smalley Spirolox® rings are manufactured using a unique edge-winding process which is as flexible as it is precise and accommodates design changes without the need for additional tooling or die modifications. This process facilitates the development of prototypes allowing the production of low quantity custom orders quickly and economically. Even after the initial prototypes are produced, the same process allows the design to be altered with simple machine adjustments or even a change of raw material size.

TFC Europe Ltd is one of the leading suppliers of technical fastener components to industry, with an unrivalled reputation for delivering innovative products, supply solutions, and exemplary service, to help our customers achieve breakthroughs in product development and productivity.

From the very beginning TFC’s founders in Heathfield, UK were determined to help equipment designers by supplying technical fasteners enabling them to design a better product and to generate more profits for their companies. Half a century later this same approach means that TFC helps not only the designer but also the buyer, and the operations teams by providing a wide variety of fastener and related components via automated and sophisticated supply systems that enable lean manufacturing goals to be met and our customers to improve their profits.

In so doing TFC has become one of the leading fastener distribution businesses in Europe supplying over 3,000 customers, employing over 100 people, working out of a national and European network of logistic service centres as well as being able to support global customers in their manufacturing plants anywhere in the world.

Whether it is a simple threaded bolt or a complex bespoke product made to customer drawing specifications, our quality assured fasteners are guaranteed to provide the perfect solution to your fastening needs.

– Bolts & Socket Screws in various grades
– Smalley Wave Springs and Spirolox Retaining Rings
– Nuts, Washers, Rivets & Screws of all types
– Sheet Metal Fasteners – self-clinch & rivet bushes
– Circlips, Springs, Keys and Seals
– Threaded Inserts – for plastics, timber & metal
– Electronic Hardware – standoffs, handles, ferrules
– Construction Fixings – anchors, through bolts, resin
– Panel, Wire & Pipe Fasteners
– Machined and turned parts to specification

Supply Chain Services – Our supply chain expertise provides significant benefits to customers by reducing costs associated with the purchase, stockholding and handling of a wide range of low-cost fastening and ancillary items. With a flexible inventory managed system; DLF, Kanban or VMI to reduce the supplier base, minimise inventory, direct to the line quality approved products immediately at hand, customers are able to remove a whole variety of hidden administration and transaction costs.

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