Dome-shaped stamping replaces springs

Sept. 13, 2001
A simple stamping in the shape of a dome with cloverlike cutouts gives engineers a new type of disc-shaped spring.
Fail-safe applications: A stack of Clover/Dome springs can replace coils springs when space is a premium and the application cannot tolerate a fractured coil spring. While one Clover/Dome may fail, the remaining springs will expand to maintain the proper spacing until the failed spring is replaced.
Limiting compression: A thrust washer limits the compression of the Clover/Dome spring to 75% of its total deflection. Thus, the nut can be tightened all the way down to the thrust washer, maintaining the proper spring tension without any torque control.

It can replace coil springs in applications where space is a premium, and it can replace Belleville washers if the application needs lower spring rates with more deflection. And unlike Belleville washers, Clover/Dome springs, developed by Schwab-Koplin Assoc., Port St. Lucie, Fla., have cone angles of 15 rather than 5 or 6. When used in place of a washer in nut-and-bolt assemblies, they exert precise amounts of compression, eliminating the need for torque control when installing gaskets.

The springs, being made by De-Sta-Co Manufacturing, Troy, Mich., use the deflection of three equally spaced disc segments connected by the outer rim of the disc. The disc segments are shaped to minimize stresses after compression. During compression, most stresses are in the outer rim and are essentially torsional. The width of the rim and the geometry of the disc segments can be modified to give the springs almost any spring rate.

The springs, being made by De-Sta-Co Manufacturing, Troy, Mich., use the deflection of three equally spaced disc segments connected by the outer rim of the disc. The disc segments are shaped to minimize stresses after compression. During compression, most stresses are in the outer rim and are essentially

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