BEARINGS by Installation

Self-Clinching

Spyraflo is the sole developer and manufacturer of self-clinching bearings, designed to be mounted into metal substrates without the need for precision bored holes or wide mounts. This allows the use of lower cost materials and less expensive components with broader tolerances.

Self-clinching bearings are the ultimate solution to tight space requirements and low-cost assembly, making them ideal for the design of smaller and more efficient power transmission.

Clinching is an extremely secure mounting method — forming the metal of the mount into an annular groove which permanently locks the bearing into place. Clinched bearings can be installed into metal mounts of any thickness or sheet metal as thin as .040” [1mm]. The resulting assembly is virtually impervious to shock or vibration.

Clinching is a cold forming process which, unlike spot welding, doesn’t require electricity or time to cool electrodes. Also, clinching doesn’t create sparks or fumes and doesn’t require fasteners, clips or retaining adhesives. The force exerted on the retainer during installation causes the mount material to “cold flow” laterally into the locking groove, permanently securing the bearing into position. A hydraulic or pneumatic press is recommended, and the clinching process takes less than a second. Life expectancy for clinching tools is in the hundreds of thousands, to millions of cycles, making it a very economical assembly process.

Because clinching is a permanent assembly method, it’s important to ensure that the specified bearing meets or exceeds the required service life. A clinched bearing is not replaceable, so if the service life can’t be met — or if serviceability is part of the product lifecycle — a Spyraflo press-fit or flange-mounted bearing should be used. Some customers choose to have a sub-component or custom flange so that the entire component is replaced to make service calls quick and easy.

Note that most plastics don’t have the strength or ductile properties required for a secure clinched bearing, so press-fit and flange mounted bearings are more appropriate in those settings.

Additional consideration must be taken when installing a self-clinching bearing close to an edge or other feature since special tooling may be required to prevent distortion.

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