Roller-Forming Eliminates Part Failure Domino Effect

Bearing Retention Within a Water Pump

Posted on 05/18/2018 | by The Orbitform Blog Team


A car is traveling down the road at 35 miles per hour. A deer runs out at the last-minute surprising the driver and causing him the yank the wheel and drive into a guard rail. The driver is not hurt, and the car appears to be working… or is it?


In the abrupt halt, a small gap created in the water pump housing for the snap ring allows a bearing to shoot forward creating a domino effect, thrusting the bearing into the fan, and causing the fan to thrust into the radiator. Radiator and transmission fluid leak everywhere.

Until recently, this was a very real situation in automotive accidents.


Here at Orbitform, it all starts with the customer’s part.


We were approached by a customer with the challenge to retain a bearing within a water pump. Through our Product Design Development Assistance program, we worked with the customer to design and test a new solution.


We first identified the problems – a gap left in the housing necessary for insertion of the snap ring allowed for the bearing to thrust forward on impact. Also, the groove generated to retain the snap ring caused a sharp stress riser.


With minimal design adaptations, Orbitform suggested adding a small amount of material to the top of the casting to be rolled over the bearing for 360 degrees of retention. This retention removed the gap which allowed the bearing to thrust forward and the sharp stress riser in the snap ring groove.


Orbitform’s simple solution proved to withhold 2.5 times more force than the target pushout safety requirement, eliminated a costly snap ring, and eradicated the entire manufacturing step of machining the snap ring groove, thus saving time and money.


We continue to work on many applications for bearing retention, including water pumps, electric motors, clutch fans, and any bearings held in cast aluminum that require push out retention.


Contact us today with your bearing retention challenge. At Orbitform, it all starts with the customer’s part!