What is a Retaining Ring?

A retaining ring, also known as a circlip or snap ring, stands as a fundamental yet often overlooked component in the realm of fasteners. Its primary function is to secure various elements axially on a shaft or within a bore. Unlike traditional fastening methods such as threads or bolts, retaining rings provide a cost-effective and efficient solution for axial component retention.

Why would you use a Retaining Ring?

Retaining rings find application in engineering and manufacturing processes due to their unique ability to streamline the fastening process while ensuring structural integrity. Unlike traditional fastening devices that often involve intricate threading or complex mechanisms, retaining rings provide a simpler yet highly effective solution. The key advantage are:

  • Simple and straightforward design that helps quick installation & removal.
  • Eliminating the need for additional elaborate fastening procedures.
  • Instead of relying on bolts, nuts, or screws, retaining rings secure components in place using a circular, ring-like structure.
  • The assembly process is also expedited reducing the likelihood of errors or complications associated with more intricate fastening methods.
  • The absence of threaded components reduces the risk of cross-threading, a common concern with traditional fastening mechanisms.

Overall, the decision to use retaining rings is driven by the desire for a practical and reliable fastening solution. Whether in manufacturing, repair, or assembly processes, the simplicity and effectiveness of retaining rings make them a valuable component, simplifying the complex task of securing elements in a wide range of applications.

How is a Retaining Ring Made?

The manufacturing process of retaining rings varies based on factors like type and size. Stamping, coiling, and machining are common methods employed in their production. These methods ensure precision and durability, aligning with the stringent requirements of diverse applications.

Where are Retaining Rings Used?

Retaining rings find extensive applications across various industries. Their usage spans from automotive and industrial settings to machinery applications. Common scenarios include securing bearings, gears, pulleys, or other rotating components on shafts.

Types of Retaining Rings & Usage

  • Internal Retaining Rings: These rings fit within a bore or housing, exerting radial force to secure components effectively.
  • External Retaining Rings: Designed to fit around a shaft, these rings exert outward force, ensuring a secure grip on components.
  • Constant Section Rings: Maintaining a uniform cross-section throughout, these rings offer stability and ease of installation.
  • Spiral Rings: Crafted from flat wire, these rings provide 360-degree contact with the groove, ensuring enhanced stability.
  • E-Clips: Resembling the letter “E,” these clips are commonly used in shaft grooves to secure components firmly.

What Materials are Used for a Retaining Ring?

The material selection for retaining rings depends on the specific demands of the application. Carbon steel, stainless steel, or various alloys are commonly utilized to ensure the rings withstand the mechanical stresses and environmental conditions they might encounter.

Retaining rings, though seemingly unassuming, play a crucial role in maintaining the structural integrity of diverse mechanical assemblies. Their versatility, coupled with reliability, positions them as indispensable components across a myriad of industries. This comprehensive exploration aims to shed light on the intricacies of retaining rings, offering valuable insights into their types, materials, and applications, empowering engineers and enthusiasts alike in optimizing their usage for diverse engineering scenarios.


Q: What is another name for a retaining ring?

Retaining rings go by various names, and two commonly used alternatives are “circlips” and “snap rings.”

Q: What are retaining ring pliers used for?

Retaining ring pliers serve as specialized tools meticulously crafted for the efficient installation or removal of retaining rings. These pliers have distinct tips and features designed to securely grip and manipulate the retaining ring during the installation or removal process.

Q: What is the difference between circlip and retaining ring?

In engineering terminology, “circlip” and “retaining ring” are often used interchangeably, essentially denoting the same type of fastener. Both terminologies refer to a versatile, ring-shaped device used for securing components onto a shaft or within a bore.

Q: How are retaining rings measured?

The measurement of retaining rings involves determining their nominal size, which corresponds to the shaft or bore diameter they are intended to fit. This measurement is critical for ensuring a precise and secure fit during the installation process.

Q: What tool is used to install retaining rings?

The installation of retaining rings requires specialized tools, with retaining ring pliers being a commonly employed instrument. These pliers are tailored to provide a secure grip on the ring, facilitating seamless installation or removal. Additionally, other tools designed for specific retaining ring types may be utilized, ensuring the process aligns with industry standards and safety practices.


Wheel Bearings: Paving the Path for Smooth Automotive Travels

In the complex domain of automotive engineering, specific components work silently to guarantee smooth vehicle functionality. Among these essential contributors, wheel bearings play a crucial role in ensuring efficiency and safety.

What is Wheel Bearing?

A wheel bearing, at its core, is a compact yet critical component that facilitates the smooth rotation of the wheel hub assembly. This unassuming element bears the weight of the vehicle while ensuring minimal friction for optimal performance. Comprising an inner and outer ring, rolling elements (balls or rollers), and a cage to retain these elements, a wheel bearing is a precision-engineered assembly designed for reliability.

Components of Wheel Bearings

  • Inner and Outer Ring: These rings form the structural framework of the bearing, providing support and stability for operation.
  • Rolling Elements (Balls or Rollers): Positioned between the inner and outer rings, these are the actual components responsible for enabling smooth rotation. Depending on the design and specific application, wheel bearings can feature either balls or rollers as their rolling elements.
  • Cage: The rolling elements are housed and separated by a cage, which serves to retain them in their proper positions. The cage maintains the spacing between the rolling elements and prevents any unwanted friction or interference by providing smooth movability.

This precision-engineered assembly is designed with meticulous attention to detail, considering factors such as load-bearing capacity, durability, and operational efficiency. The synergy of these components allows wheel bearings to withstand the demands of vehicular motion while providing reliable and consistent performance.

Types of Wheel Bearings

  • Ball Bearings: In the realm of wheel bearings, ball bearings employ spherical balls to facilitate smooth rolling between the inner and outer raceways. This design is prevalent due to its efficiency and versatility.
  • Roller Bearings: With cylindrical or tapered rollers distributing the load evenly, roller bearings are preferred for applications demanding durability and resilience, especially in heavy-duty scenarios.
  • Tapered Roller Bearings: Exhibiting versatility by handling both radial and axial loads, tapered roller bearings are commonplace in vehicles where precision and endurance are paramount.

How Does a Wheel Bearing Work?

  • Load Distribution: The primary function of a wheel bearing is to evenly distribute the weight of the vehicle across its structure, ensuring equilibrium and stability in motion.
  • Reducing Friction: Wheel bearings effectively minimize friction between the wheel and the axle, a pivotal factor for fuel efficiency and overall performance.
  • Enabling Rotation: As the wheel rotates, the wheel bearing facilitates this motion by providing a frictionless environment, allowing for a smooth and unhindered rotation.

Signs of a Bad Wheel Bearing

  • Unusual Noises: Wheel bearing with the presence of unusual noises, like growling or humming, specially during the turns are a sure shot indication of a bad wheel bearing.
  • Vibration: Excessive vibrations felt through the steering wheel or the vehicle’s chassis are signs of a compromised wheel bearing. This needs immediate attention.
  • Uneven Tire Wear: Visual cues like cupping or scalloping on tires often signify irregular wear patterns attributed to a faulty wheel bearing.
  • Excessive Play: The presence of looseness in the wheel suggests a potential issue with the wheel bearing, necessitating inspection and possible replacement.

How to Replace a Car Wheel Bearing?

  • Safety First: Securely place the vehicle on jack stands and wearing protective gear, including gloves and eye protection.
  • Removing the Wheel: Begin removing the wheel to expose the hub assembly and the underlying components.
  • Accessing the Bearing: Depending on the vehicle’s design, remove other components like brake calipers and rotors to access the wheel bearing.
  • Pressing Out the Old Bearing: Using a bearing press, carefully and systematically press out the worn-out wheel bearing from the hub assembly.
  • Installing the New Bearing: Insert the new wheel bearing into the hub, ensuring proper seating to guarantee optimal functionality and longevity.
  • Reassemble Components: Reverse steps above, ensuring each element is properly secured. Refer to the manufacturer’s specifications for torque settings when tightening bolts and nuts to guarantee proper functioning and safety.

Conclusion: Navigating the Journey Ahead

In cars, wheel bearings silently ensure a smooth journey. As technology advances, they stay reliable under the vehicle, supporting its efficiency. Like a silent force, these components keep every ride dependable, embodying resilience.


Can you drive a car with a bad wheel bearing?

It is not recommended to drive with a bad wheel bearing as it can lead to further damage and compromise safety. Prompt replacement is advised.

Do wheel bearings affect brakes?

Yes, worn down wheel bearings can impact the effectiveness of the brake system leading to

  • Uneven braking,
  • Vibrations, or
  • Affect the overall performance of the brakes.

How long do wheel bearings last?

The lifespan of wheel bearings varies, but they typically last between 85,000 to 100,000 miles. Regular maintenance and early detection of issues can further extend their longevity.

What causes bad wheel bearing?

Factors such as heavy loads, poor-quality lubrication, water exposure, or simply wear and tear over time can contribute to the deterioration of wheel bearings.

What is wheel bearing noise?

Wheel bearing noise is often a humming or grinding sound that increases with vehicle speed. It is a common sign of a potential issue and should be addressed promptly to avoid further damage.

Press Release

NBC Bearings’ Crackdown on Counterfeit Bearing

~ Resulted in the recovery of counterfeit bearings worth over Rs. 44 lacs in five raids~

Ahmedabad/ Delhi, 11thJanuary 2024: National Engineering Industries Ltd. (NEI) – part of the US$ 2.9 billion CK Birla Group and manufacturer of NBC brand of bearings, India’s leading bearings manufacturer, and exporter, has taken a significant step towards combating the issue of counterfeit bearings by facilitating crackdown on spurious bearing manufacturers in Delhi and Ahmedabad. The operations undertaken with local authorities, resulted in the recovery of counterfeit bearings worth over Rs. 44lacs from five outlets in two cities namely Kashmiri Gate in Delhi and Delhi Darwaja in Ahmedabad

Counterfeit bearings pose a serious threat to the industry, affecting the safety, reliability, and performance of machinery across various sectors. The unauthorized production and distribution of counterfeit bearings not only compromises the integrity of machines but also leads to potential hazards and financial losses for end-users. And NEI has always been guided by and is committed to excellence in end customer experience and end customer safety. 

S Patni, Chief of Domestic Sales, NEI said, “NBC Bearings remains committed to delivering high-quality, genuine bearings to its customers across multiple sectors. The company encourages customers to be vigilant and purchase bearings only from authorized stockists/retailers to guarantee the authenticity, safety, and performance of the products. Users can also check genuine bearings using the NBC Connect App. This successful operation aimed at conveying a clear message to counterfeit manufacturers that the industry is committed to eradicating such malpractices.”

NBC Bearings remains at the forefront of innovation and quality assurance, setting a benchmark for the industry. The company will continue to invest in initiatives that safeguard the integrity of its products and contribute to the overall well-being of the industries it serves. NBC Bearings brand has therefore created a unique feature in its app where anyone in possession of its bearing can verify the authenticity of the bearing within seconds.  

About National Engineering Industries Ltd (NBC Bearings)

Founded in 1946, National Engineering Industries Ltd (NEI), is a part of the CK Birla group and manufacturer of the NBC brand of bearings. CK Birla Group is today a 2.9bn USD diversified conglomerate with over 30,000 employees and 50 manufacturing facilities across India and overseas. Enabling sustainability by making movement more efficient, NEI is India’s leading manufacturer and exporter of bearings with manufacturing capacity of 250 Mn bearings annually in over 3100+ variants for application across automotive, railways, aerospace and industrial segments to serve customers in more than 30 countries. It also serves the Indian aftermarket through a countrywide network of over 550 authorized stockists and thousands of retailers. 

Headquartered in Jaipur, NEI is the only bearing manufacturer in the world to win the prestigious Deming Grand Prize (2015). With an employee strength of over 2,800 and five manufacturing plants in Jaipur (2), Newai (Rajasthan), Manesar (Haryana) and Vadodara (Gujarat), NEI is equipped with global manufacturing and process technology and has one of the best R&D centers in India. Apart from being technologically advanced, the company practices methods of sustainability by using alternate sources of energy and increasing the efficiency of the manufacturing process by leveraging on the power of digitization. NBC Bearings is committed to be carbon neutral by 2039. 

In 2020, National Engineering Industries Ltd, acquired Kinex bearings in Europe through it’s subsidiary NBC Global Ag, to enhance, diversify and provide best-in-class products to its existing and potential customers. In 2022, NBC Global Ag opened it’s Global Technology Centre in Germany to support innovation and provide support to NEI’s global growth. For details, visit: