Bal Spring® canted coil springs for mechanical applications

Our mechanical spring technology is used in a broad range of industries and applications, including gear drives, pumping equipment, dispensing machines, mixing equipment, food processing machinery and safety devices.

Our Bal Spring® canted coil springs for latching, locking, and holding applications are available in coiled diameters from 0.020 in. (0.51 mm), and in a variety of materials and surface finishes. In addition to fastening or latching, the canted coil spring can be designed to permanently lock two pieces together, or to perform a holding function whereby it provides a specific amount of drag between two components.


Canted coil springs are used in latching applications to fasten two components together on a device in accordance with the force requirements specified by the designer. The latching spring application is also used regularly in applications where multiple heads need to be changed out on one tool. The spring is easy to use, resists compression set, generally has a long cycle life, and is easily cleanable. A wide offering of wire materials are available.


As a locking component, the spring has the potential to offer game-changing technology. It can lock any two pieces together using minimal force, often eliminating the need for other tooling. Depending on design requirements, a spring may be engineered to require as much as 900–1,000 shearing lbs to release the two pieces.


Canted coil springs for holding applications are most often designed into sliding components that require a specific amount of sliding force. The drag force can be specified during the design process, and it requires consideration of the housing dimensions, tolerances, and surface finishes. In some cases, the spring can also be customized to fit existing hardware, depending on force requirements.Their holding function can also be combined with latching in any given application. The spring can drag across a surface until it reaches a latching point. The drag force as well as the insertion and removal force can be specified for the spring.

Enforcer® high force canted coil spring

Enforcer logo

We’ve combined our proven Bal Spring® technology with advanced manufacturing techniques to deliver the Enforcer® high force canted coil spring, a mechanical fastening component with insertion and removal forces that can be precisely controlled to 10,000+ lb, depending on size and other factors. The Enforcer, which offers design engineers an excellent alternative to disposable shear pins, complex ball detent assemblies, and other traditional fastening technologies, provides repeatable performance over multiple service cycles. It can be piston or housing mounted, and can also be engineered with relatively low insertion force to simplify the reattachment of parts.

Available in a variety of materials, including stainless steels and nickel-based alloys, the Enforcer provides up to a 10X increase in force over our existing Bal Spring® product line.

When made from a nickel-based alloy wire material with a diameter of 0.031 in., Enforcer high force canted coil springs with a 1-in. ID demonstrated an initial removal force of over 2000 lb, and maintained a removal force of more than 1700 lb after five cycles. In independent testing, larger diameter Enforcer springs consistently demonstrated removal forces greater than 10,000 lb.

The Enforcer® high force canted coil spring (left) has a higher coil density than Bal Seal Engineering's typical Bal Spring® product line. Both spring types provide precisely controllable latching and locking functionality, but the Enforcer's design enables it to offer forces 10X higher than the Bal Spring.


Results of insertion and removal cycle testing on an Enforcer® high force canted coil spring made from a nickel-based alloy material. The 1-in. ID spring was mounted in a groove on a 1.5-in. piston. Insertion values dropped dramatically after initial cycle, and removal forces decreased much more gradually. Testing indicated stabilization of removal forces beyond five cycles. Note: values are dependent upon specific spring design.

Typical Applications

Our Enforcer high force canted coil spring answers a growing demand for more cost-effective high force latching options in:

  • Downhole tools (LWD/MWD, plug setting, retrieval) and subsea valves used in oil and gas operations
  • Surgical tools
  • Aerospace equipment (cargo retention, aircraft tug tow bars)
  • Maritime/shipbuilding equipment


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