Here, TFC Ltd answers some of the most frequently asked questions about its Smalley ring and spring products.
What industries are Smalley products used in?
Smalley product customers are worldwide and encompass a broad range of environments and applications. Whilst TFC’s products are specified in almost every industry, TFC has expertise in the petrochemical, defence, off-road and automotive industries. Smalley parts can be found specified in many other industrial markets - they have even been used to put a spring in the step of running trainers.
Are TFC’s catalogue parts manufactured in Inconel and, if so, is it still deemed a standard part?
TFC’s standard materials are carbon steel, 17-7 stainless steel, 302 stainless steel and 316 stainless steel depending upon the product. However it can supply parts from the standard range catalogue in a wide variety of exotic alloys and, since parts are manufactured by edgewinding rather than die-stamping, there are no tooling costs involved. As TFC has hundreds of alloy sections readily available from stock, in the factory, we can readily supply non-standard items within very short lead times. TFC’s technical sales team are always on hand and will find an appropriate solution.
How are Smalley parts manufactured?
Smalley products have been developed using an exclusive edgewinding manufacturing process that requires no special tooling. A precision coiling process is utilised that coils flat wire on edge to produce the highest quality rings and springs available in the market. Smalley parts can be manufactured to exact specifications in almost any diameter, any number of turns and in any quantity. The minimal no-scrap process employed virtually eliminates waste and allows for the economic production of small prototype quantities and for parts produced in exotic alloys.
Why can't it just be quoted?
TFC strive to offer the perfect Smalley part first time, every time. In order to make sure the parts fit a specific application and dimensions perfectly, TFC may ask questions in the early stages to ensure the exact part needed is supplied. TFC likes to understand the application and any environmental constraints in order to provide customers’ with the most cost-effective solution.
Can free samples of Smalley products be obtained?
TFC is proud to offer free samples of its standard catalogue parts including Spirolox® retaining rings, wave springs and constant section rings for tests in applications. If a standard part will not satisfy the application, TFC has a specific pricing policy that allows for the economic production of a small quantity of prototypes for proving purposes.
Having joined the magazine in 2012, Claire developed her knowledge of the industry through the numerous company visits, exhibitions and conferences she attended both in the UK and abroad.
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