While threaded fasteners are often used to secure parts together in an assembly, they are not always foolproof. In some instances, threaded fasteners may come loose as a result of vibration, shock, or other forces that cause such hardware to eventually come apart. While there are a number of solutions one may implement to prevent loosening, one of the simplest options is to implement what is known as a push-on retainer. These components are a form of retaining ring that may be slid over a threaded fastener’s shaft to maintain its positioning. In this blog, we will discuss the push-on retainer in brief detail so that you may become more familiar with its design and use.
As stated before, push-on retainers are a form of retaining ring, and they are specifically added to assemblies that have been fastened for the means of mitigating the chance of hardware loosening or slipping. Push-on retainers are known for their ease of installation, simply sliding over the shaft of a threaded fastener. Additionally, they are fairly inexpensive, adding to their benefits. As pre-manufactured assemblies may come with threaded fasteners that are not already secured, such as being inserted without a nut tightened to it, there is a chance that components may fall out. This is where the push-on retainer comes into play, the hardware component featuring teeth or grooves that grip onto the fastener when they are slid on.
While such retainers are useful for keeping threaded fasteners secure, they are not the only component capable of doing so. For example, there are a variety of washers that also provide locking capabilities, making it important that one understands the differences between varying options. Despite both components being used alongside a threaded fastener, washers are generally used to distribute loads while all push-on retainers secure fasteners. With some washers, the shape of the component or the presence of grooves and other elements may assist in providing locking functionality. Nevertheless, the installation method is different. For a lock washer, the component will be placed under the head of the fastener, sitting between the head and the installation surface. Meanwhile, retainers are simply slid over the fastener.
If you think that a push-on retainer is the best choice for your needs, it is then important to consider various factors that may affect performance and compatibility. Size is very important to keep in mind, especially when it comes down to inner and outer diameters. The inner diameter of the retainer is simply the diameter of its hole, while the outer diameter is the diameter of the entire retainer itself. By choosing the right size, you can better ensure that the fasteners that you secure will remain in place with high reliability. Aside from sizing, there are also different materials that one may choose from. Not all push-on retainers are manufactured from metals, some being made from polymers and other softer materials as well. With the proper considerations made, you can guarantee a retainer that meets your price range and needs with ease.
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