Various types of circlips are available, each suitable for different applications and environments. Some of the key circlip types are detailed below.
As already mentioned, internal circlips are designed to fit within a bore or housing. They are typically available in both metric and imperial sizes, for convenience, and have a wide range of uses. Internal circlip types are highly durable and usually have a longer service life than alternative circlip types, making them a preferred choice for many. Additionally, internal circlips can also offer resistance to corrosion when located inside equipment.
Conversely, external circlip types are designed to fit tightly around a shaft. External circlips can be chosen to replace threaded sleeves, rivets, cotter pins, set collars, nuts, machined shoulders and similar bulky fastening devices. They are also available in both metric and imperial sizes but one of the additional benefits of external circlips is that they can help to save space.
Stainless Steel Circlips
Stainless steel circlips are one of the most common materials used in the manufacture of retaining rings. Stainless steel is preferred due to its tough, durable nature, meaning that the circlips can last for longer once installed. Circlips are also designed to be semi-flexible, allowing for easier installation and removal without damaging the shaft, housing, or the circlip itself.
E-clips are installed onto bores radially as opposed to axially. Like standard circlips, they fit in a groove, but E-type circlips don’t feature grip holes, so they are not suitable for use with circlip pliers. Instead, E-type circlips can be pushed into place with a specially-designed tool or a standard pair of pliers when fitted.