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How and Why You Should Use a Wave Spring for Bearing Preload

May. 23, 2024

What is a Wave Spring?


When assembling individual bearing components, such as the outer race, inner race, balls, and retainer, they work together to maintain a controlled amount of internal clearance between the rings and balls. This radial play is necessary for proper operation, yet in most applications, reducing or eliminating this internal clearance is essential to maintain correct functionality.


To address this, an axial load can be applied to a bearing race independently of the external load, a process known as preloading. Preloading ensures constant contact, minimizing or eliminating any play between components. This is particularly critical in high-precision and high-speed applications.


There are two primary types of bearing preload: fixed and spring. Fixed preload mechanically fixes the position of the inner and outer races using methods like dead weight (adhesive-based) or by incorporating axial adjustment to apply pressure on the bearings. Spring loading provides a constant load accommodating slight misalignments and is typically more cost-effective than fixed preloading methods.


How Do Wave Springs Work?


Wave springs operate on the principle of elastic deformation, where the waves in the spring compress and expand in response to applied force. This allows them to store and release energy efficiently, making them ideal for various engineering applications, including bearing preload.


Bearing preload spring

Why is it important?

Benefits of preloading a bearing include:


Extends bearing lifespan

Elimination of ball skidding

Vibration reduction

Noise reduction

Precise shaft positioning

Greater load sharing between bearings

Rotational accuracy

Control and reduction of axial and radial deflection under an applied load


1. Uniform Force Distribution


Wave springs exert a more uniform force distribution compared to traditional coil springs, ensuring consistent bearing preload across the entire bearing assembly. This helps minimize wear and prolong bearing life.


2. Space-Saving Design


The compact design of wave springs allows for efficient use of space, making them well-suited for applications with limited radial and axial space constraints. This enables engineers to design more compact and lightweight systems without sacrificing performance.


3. Axial and Radial Load Capacity


Wave springs can handle both axial and radial loads, providing versatile support for bearings in various orientations. This ensures stable and reliable performance even under dynamic operating conditions.


4. Precise Preload Adjustment


Wave springs offer precise preload adjustment capabilities, allowing engineers to fine-tune the preload force to meet specific application requirements. This flexibility enables optimization of bearing performance and longevity.


How to Use a Wave Spring for Bearing Preload


1. Selection of Wave Spring Type


Choose the appropriate type and size of wave spring based on the bearing size, load requirements, and space constraints of the application. Consider factors such as wave amplitude, number of waves, and material properties to ensure optimal performance.


2. Installation Process


Install the wave spring in the bearing assembly according to the manufacturer's recommendations, ensuring proper alignment and orientation. Pay attention to preload specifications and adjust the spring as necessary to achieve the desired preload force.


3. Testing and Validation


Conduct thorough testing and validation of the bearing assembly to verify proper preload and performance under operating conditions. Monitor factors such as bearing temperature, vibration, and noise levels to ensure optimal functionality.


Why Choose Us for Your Wave Spring Needs


1. Extensive Experience


With years of experience in the industry, we have gained unparalleled expertise in the design, manufacture, and application of wave springs for bearing preload and other critical functions.


2. Custom Solutions


We offer custom wave spring solutions tailored to meet the unique requirements of your application. Our engineering team works closely with clients to develop innovative solutions that optimize performance and efficiency.


3. Quality Assurance


We adhere to strict quality standards throughout the manufacturing process to ensure the reliability and consistency of our wave springs. Our commitment to quality ensures that our products meet or exceed customer expectations.


4. Exceptional Customer Support


Our dedicated team of professionals is here to assist you every step of the way, from product selection to installation and beyond. We pride ourselves on providing exceptional customer support and service to ensure your complete satisfaction.




In conclusion, wave springs offer numerous advantages for bearing preload applications, including uniform force distribution, space-saving design, and precise preload adjustment. By choosing the right wave spring and following proper installation procedures, engineers can optimize bearing performance and reliability. With our expertise, custom solutions, and commitment to quality, we are your trusted partner for all your wave spring needs.


For more information on how wave springs can enhance your bearing preload applications, please contact us. As a leading supplier of high-quality wave springs, we are dedicated to providing innovative solutions to meet your engineering challenges.

Bearing preload spring