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Wave spring enables compact design of sprung ball joint

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TFC is supplying crest-to-crest wave springs for use in LED lights designed by Ecoledlighting for British Airways and Virgin Atlantic aircraft.

TFC recently assisted the development of an LED lighting component used by British Airways and Virgin Atlantic. A Smalley crest-to-crest wave spring fits into the arm mechanism of the light unit to preload the arm that has the LED light on the end. The design, which is approximately 93mm long by 52mm in diameter, allows the arm to be fitted in a confined space or stowed away.

The TFC wave spring was a compact way to apply a compressive force onto two halves of a split bearing that surround a ball joint - which supports the arm. Pressure caused by the wave spring prevents the light from moving away from the area to which it is directed, yet it allows a relatively soft resistance when intentional movement is required.

TFC's crest-to-crest wave spring maintains the same force and load of a conventional coil spring, yet it only occupies about 50 per cent of the axial space or less. This space-saving feature allowed the designer to optimise the use of the spring cavity, which enabled the overall product size to be minimised.

The lighting component (The GEN L Swivel Type) was designed and created by Robin Day, the managing director of Ecoledlighting, who says: "It is virtually impossible to come up with a compact package without being able to use wave spring technology in the product. TFC's crest-to-crest wave spring provides a compact solution which is ideal for use with our product."

 
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