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Distributor's Link Magazine Fall 2020 / Vol 44 No 1


44 THE DISTRIBUTOR’S LINK SPIROL INTERNATIONAL CORP. 30 Rock Avenue, Danielson, CT 06239 TEL 1-860-774-8571 FAX 1-860-774-2048 EMAIL WEB HOW TO SELECT THE PROPER PIN FOR YOUR APPLICATION by Jeff Greenwood, Product Sales Engineer Fasteners are some of the most important parts of an assembly as they hold the entire assembly together and facilitate the interaction between the individual components. Ideally, the selected fasteners are simple to assemble, provide a quality product for the intended lifetime of the assembly, and yield the overall lowest cost of the assembly taking into account the entire manufacturing process. This article focuses on how to select the proper pin for an application. Specifically, press fit pins are discussed here as they are the most common types of pins used in modern manufacturing. Press Fit Pin Types Among press fit pins, there are two general categories: Solid Pins and Spring Pins. Solid Pins can have a smooth, uninterrupted surface (such as dowels) or they may be designed with retention features such as knurls and barbs. All Solid Pins are retained by displacing/deforming the host material. Conversely, Spring Pins retain themselves by exerting a radial force (tension) against the hole wall after installation. There are two different types of Spring Pins: Slotted Pins and Coiled Pins. Slotted Spring Pins are general purpose, low cost pins typically recommended for non-critical assemblies. Oftentimes, Slotted Pins are used in applications where they are manually installed into mild to hardened steel components. Slotted Pins have a gap designed for the pin to flex during installation allowing the pin to absorb varying hole tolerance. Coiled Spring Pins are available in light, standard, and heavy duty to enable the designer to choose the optimum combination of strength, flexibility, and diameter suited for varying host materials and performance requirements. Coiled Pins have 2 1/4 coils of material that enable the pin to flex both during installation to accommodate a varying hole tolerance and after installation to dampen shock and vibration to prevent damage. Application Evaluation hole The first step in selecting a pin is evaluating the application. These are some of the many considerations when determining the proper pin for a specific application: ¤ What is the pin’s function? ¤ What are the strength requirements of the pin? ¤ What is the material of the component in which the pin will be used? ¤ What environment will the pin be exposed to? ¤ What is the intended product lifetime and number of cycles? ¤ How will the pin be installed? ¤ What is the expected volume? Designers should thoroughly examine the application and performance requirements early in the design stage. Not only will this guide facilitate decisions about the design of the host component(s), but it will also cover the topics of fastener selection, fastener size, material, duty, etc. Unfortunately, many designers wait until the end of the design to select a fastener. LEFT: COILED SPRING PIN CENTER: SLOTTED SPRING PIN RIGHT: HEADED, BARBED SOLID PIN TECHNICAL ARTICLE CONTINUED ON PAGE 120


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