Garter springs are coiled steel springs, connected both ends to create a circular shape.  They are commonly used in oil seals, belt-driven motors, and electrical connectors. Compression garter springs exert outward radial forces, while extension garter springs exert inward radial forces. The manufacturing process is similar  to the creation of regular coiled springs, but by also joining the ends together. Similar to most springs, garter springs are typically manufactured with either carbon steel or stainless steel wire.  Since they are able to withstand forces from all directions, garter springs are effective at handling changes in volume, pressure, temperature, and viscosity.

Common Garter springs industrial uses include:

  • Gearbox seals – to prevent contamination between high and low speed shafts
  • Hydraulic pump seals – high-pressure seals that have two lips to resist extremely high speeds in water pumps
  • Washing machine seals – water-resistant and anti-contaminant seal used in common washing machines

Common Garter spring automotive uses include:

  • Diesel engine seals – temperature resistant seal that prevents chemical attacks without much lubrication
  • Valve stem seals – sprung-lip seal to prevent damage of the valve seat area
  • Transmission seals – prevents leakage between torque converter and transaxle in front-wheel drive vehicles, and prevents leakage past output shaft in rear-wheel drive vehicles
  • Off-road wheel seals – dual seals used to counter mud, dirt, and water
  • Pinion seals – prevents dust, water, and mud from entering rear-wheel drive transmissions
  • Shock absorbing seals – complex seal with extra pressure release valve to prevent buildup of excess pressure
  • Air conditioning seals – uses hydrogenated nitrile with a rubber seal to prevent lubricant contamination
    Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Garter_spring

For more information on garter springs, canted coil springs, peek springs, meander springs and anything else spring-related, speak to Clifford Springs in Birmingham on 01527 62876 or email sales@cliffordsprings.co.uk