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Self-Clinching Installation

This illustration shows how the panel metal fills the undercut during installation. A punch and back-up anvil are essential to proper self-clinching installation in sheet metal or thin sections. When the mount thickness exceeds the height of the bearing, an anvil is not necessary.

Installation of Spyraflo self-clinching bearings must be done in a smooth, continuous pressing operation — no hammer blows. Hydraulic, pneumatic and hydro-pneumatic presses are ideal for this purpose. The splined flange will be embedded into the panel metal, forcing panel metal to flow into the undercut groove, which locks the bearing retainer firmly into the panel.

Always leave the edge of the mounting hole sharp — do not chamfer or deburr. If the mounting hole is punched, be sure to install the bearing in the controlled dimension side of the hole, not the break-out side. This becomes increasingly important as the material gauge thickness increases.

A backup anvil is necessary, particularly on thin panels. The wall thickness of the anvil should be adequate to prevent the anvil from forming a depression in the panel during the pressing operation.

Mount material should not exceed Rockwell B 65 for self-clinching "FS" bearings (steel retainers) or Rockwell B 75 for "FSS" bearings (stainless steel retainers). A flush or slightly recessed installation is ideal.

When installing a self-clinch bearing close to an unsupported edge of a sheet metal mount (including a bend, hole or other feature), be sure to consider the “centerline to edge’’ limit. The high force required to install a self-clinching bearing can distort nearby features beause the mount material will move toward the path of least resistance. When installed too close to a sheet metal edge, the unsupported edge of the panel will bulge out during installation. In this example, it takes less force for the mount material move out of the way than to cold flow into the retaining groove of the retainer.

Note that the ”centerline to edge” guidelines only apply to unsupported edges or other features. When tooling is made to restrict unwanted distortion, self-clinching retainers can be installed extremely close to other component features without distortion or diminished strength.

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