Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
A Belleville washer, also known as a cupped spring washer, is a type of non-flat washer. It has a slight conical shape which gives the washer a spring characteristic. Belleville washers are typically used as springs, or to apply a pre-load or flexible quality to a bolted joint.
They may also be used as locking devices, but only in applications with low dynamic loads.
Another example where they aid locking is a joint that experiences a large amount of thermal expansion and contraction. They will supply the required pre-load, but the bolt may have an additional locking mechanism (like loctite ) that would fail without the Belleville.
Multiple Belleville washers may be stacked to modify the spring constant or amount of deflection. Stacking in the same direction will add the spring constant in parallel, creating a stiffer joint (with the same deflection). Stacking in an alternating direction is the same as adding springs in series, resulting in a lower spring constant and greater deflection. Mixing and matching directions allow a specific spring constant and deflection capacity to be designed.
A similar device is a wave washer.
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