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TFC is the sole UK & leading European supplier of Smalley Springs and Retaining Rings. Smalley and TFC have built a reputation for unsurpassed quality and an expert, collaborative engineering team.

As the inventor of the edgewound wave spring and with over 100 years of manufacturing excellence, Smalley is the Engineer’s Choice® in providing wave springs, retaining rings, and constant section rings for all of your application needs.

Smalley stocks over 10,000 standard parts across 30 configurations and 400 sizes, ready for delivery. If a standard part doesn’t meet your requirements, you’ll work with our innovative team of over 30 industry-specialized engineers to quickly create an economical custom part in the material of your choice, all without new tooling. Prototype or production volume, our No-Tooling-Charges™ manufacturing process meets the design flexibility your application, budget, and timeline requires.

Smalley Retaining Rings FAQs E-Book
Selecting the proper material for an application requires a general knowledge of what is available. Smalley offers over 40 material options. Specifying the correct material can prevent additional costs and failure in operation.

Carbon steel is the most commonly specified material. Stainless steels, although more costly than carbon steel, provide far superior corrosion resistance and have higher temperature operating limits.

Smalley Wave Springs and Spirolox Retaining Rings are available from stock in carbon and stainless steel. Wave springs are stocked in both carbon steel and 17-7 stainless. Spirolox Retaining Rings are stocked in carbon steel as well as 302 & 316 stainless steel. Other alloys and finishes are readily available for production.


Smalley offers two standard carbon steel materials for retaining rings and wave springs. Carbon steel is cost-effective and durable, but has low corrosion resistance. It is highly magnetic and can be a variety of colors such as blue, gray, or black. Smalley’s carbon steel products are oil-dipped for protection during shipment and shelf storage.


SAE 1070-1090 high carbon spring steels are oil tempered and are Smalley’s most commonly used carbon steels. Tensile and yield strength are maximized because of the oil tempered martensitic structure.


SAE 1060-1075 high carbon cold drawn spring steels receive their strength from cold rolling. In either temper, carbon steel is suited for use in a protected environment, as it corrodes if not oiled and sealed from the elements. Additional corrosion protection can be achieved with special finishes. Additional corrosion protection can be added with custom finishes. Rings and springs are normally supplied with an oil dip finish providing protection during shipment and for shelf storage.


Smalley offers three stainless steel materials for retaining rings and wave springs. 302 and 316 are standard materials for retaining rings and 17-7 PH is the standard material for wave springs. Stainless steel, although more costly than carbon steel, is more corrosion resistant and able to withstand higher temperature limits. It is slightly magnetic and can be a variety of colors such as blue, brown, and silver. Smalley’s stainless steel products usually undergo ultrasonic cleaning and vapor degrease finishing processes.


302 is specified because of its combination of corrosion resistance and physical properties. 302 stainless steel gains spring temper condition by cold working. Although it is categorized as a nonmagnetic stainless, 302 becomes slightly magnetic because of the cold working. It cannot be hardened by heat treatment.

  • 302 has a silver-gray color.


316 is nearly identical in physical properties and heat resistance to 302. It provides more corrosion resistance because of the addition of molybdenum, particularly against pitting. As with 302, the magnetism of 316 increases as the wire is cold reduced. It cannot be hardened by heat treatment. 316 is generally used in food, chemical and sea water applications.

  • 316 has a silver-gray color.


17-7 PH Condition CH900 is similar in corrosion resistance to 302 and offers both high tensile and yield strength. In fatigue and high stress applications, 17-7 outperforms even the finest grade of carbon steel. Spring properties are achieved by precipitation hardening Condition C to Condition CH900. As a result, the material may be subjected to a temperature of 650˚ F without a loss of spring properties. Its magnetism is similar to carbon steel.

  • 17-7 has a blue, brown, or silver color; atmosphere-controlled heat treatment provides a brighter color.


Select a standard material from stainless and carbon steel, or design your ring and spring to withstand the harshest of environments from over 40 material options, including Inconel®, Elgiloy®, and MP35N® stocked and available.

Smalley’s No-Tooling-Cost™ manufacturing process allows us to coil materials quickly and efficiently with nearly no material waste, making custom materials more economical for you.

Smalley offers the following Super Alloys.


Smalley offers super alloys when carbon and stainless steels do not meet an application’s unique requirements. Super alloys maintain material properties in extreme operating conditions. These materials exhibit no magnetism and can be blue, brown, or silver in color.

Materials may be heat treated in open-air or in an atmosphere-controlled furnace. Open-air heat treatment may produce scale, which often results in a dark residue. An atmosphere-controlled environment eliminates scale and produces a part with a brighter finish.


Inconel X-750 is a nickel-chromium alloy and precipitation heat treated to a spring temper condition. In this state, it has temperature resistance up to 700˚ F. Additional temper methods are available to achieve slightly different physical properties. Smalley also offers NACE (The National Association of Corrosion Engineers) approved materials to meet your requirements. This nickel-chromium alloy is used most commonly in high temperature and corrosive environments. Two commonly specified tempers of Inconel are described below.

  • Rings and springs manufactured from this grade of Inconel have a blue/silver-gray color and exhibit no magnetism.


A286 is a nickel-iron-based alloy that exhibits similar properties to Inconel X-750, but with additional heat resistance of up to 1000˚ F. Its spring temper condition is obtained by precipitation hardening.

  • This material exhibits no magnetism and has a blue/silver-gray color.


Elgiloy is a cobalt-based alloy known for its high strength and excellent corrosion resistance. It can be used in environments up to 800˚ F. Elgiloy shows improved resistance to sulfide stress cracking over other NACE-approved materials.

  • Elgiloy exhibits no magnetism and is blue-brown in color as a result of heat treatment.


MP35N is a nickel-cobalt-based alloy known for its high strength and corrosion resistance. It can be used in environments up to 600˚ F. It is often specified for oil and gas applications.


Commonly used in chemical processing industries, Hastelloy C-276 is a nickel-based alloy with proven performance in corrosive applications. Similar to other nickel-based alloys, it is ductile, easy to form, and has excellent resistance to stress corrosion cracking in chloride solutions. It can be used in environments up to 750˚F.

MONEL®1 K-500

Monel K-500 is a nickel-copper-based alloy known for its excellent corrosion resistance, strength, and hardness properties. It can be used in environments up to 550˚ F.

1 INCONEL X-750 and MONEL are registered trademarks of Special Metals Corporation.
2 ELGILOY is a registered trademark of Combined Metals of Chicago.
3 MP35N is a registered trademark of SPS Technologies Inc.
4 HASTELLOY is a registered trademark of Haynes International.


When magnetism or conductivity is important to your application, Smalley offers a range of copper materials as a custom material option.


Beryllium copper is nonmagnetic and one of the most electrically conductive materials offered by Smalley. Normally specified in a hard temper, it has a combination of low modulus of elasticity and high ultimate tensile strength. The alloy gains its physical properties by precipitation hardening. In contrast to other copper alloys, beryllium copper has the highest strength and is suitable to use at temperatures up to 400˚ F.


Phosphor bronze is a nonmagnetic alloy with fair electrical conductivity. It is purchased in a spring temper condition to maximize spring characteristics and can be hardened only by cold working. Phosphor bronze exhibits fair spring properties and is rated a step below beryllium copper in performance.

The table below presents the more common materials used by Smalley.

MaterialMaterial Thickness (in)Minimum Tensile Strength (psi)Shear Strength (psi)Maximum Recommended Operating Temp.4 (°F)Modulus of Elasticity(psi)
Carbon Steel
Oil Tempered SAE 1070 – 1090.006 – .014269,000153,00025030 X 106
.0141 – .021255,000145,000
.0211 – .043221,000126,000
Hard Drawn SAE 1060 – 1075.006 – .030230,000130,000
.0301 – .110181,000103,000
.1101 – .220156,00089,000
302 Stainless Steel
AMS-5866.002 – .022210,000119,00040028 X 106
.0221 – .047200,000114,000
.0471 – .062185,000105,000
.0621 – .074175,000100,000
.0741 – .089165,00094,000
316 Stainless Steel
ASTM A3131.002 – .023195,000111,00040028 X 106
.0231 – .048190,000108,000
.0481 – .061175,00099,000
17-7 PH Stainless Steel
Condition CH900 AMS-5529240,0002137,000265029.5 X 106
AMS-5810180,0002105,0002100031 X 106
INCONEL5 Alloy X-750
Spring Temper AMS-56993220,0002125,000270031 X 106
NO. 1 Temper “Rc 35 Maximum” AMS-56991,3136,000 REF77,000700
NO. 1 Temper AMS-5698155,000288,00021000
INCONEL5 Alloy 718
AMS-55961180,0002102,0002130029.6 X 106
AMS-58761,3≤ .004300,0002171,000280030 X 106
.0041 – .019290,0002165,0002
.0191 – .025280,0002159,0002
.0251 – .100270,0002154,0002
Beryllium Copper
Temper TH02 ASTM B1971185,0002128,000240018.5 X 106
AMS 57581260,000150,00060034.1 X 106
NOTE: Additional materials available include Phosphor Bronze, C-276, 410 Stainless Steel, MONEL5 K-500, MONEL5 K-400, Waspaloy and others. Please consult Smalley Engineering for further details.

1 Referenced for chemical composition only.
2 Values obtained after precipitation hardening.
3 Conforms to NACE Standard MR-01-75.
4 Exceeding these temperatures will cause increased relaxation. Consult Smalley Engineering for High Temperature applications.
5 ELGILOY is a registered trademark of Combined Metals of Chicago. INCONEL and MONEL are registered trademarks of Special Metals Corporation. HASTELLOY is a registered Trademark of Haynes International