Wave Spring Design Theory
There are 4 critical factors when considering a wave spring –
 Constraints of the application: Bore/shaft, ID/OD etc.
 Load
 Working height at which the load is applied
 Material desired
Wave Spring Design General Considerations
 If a spring is designed for static application, make sure that the % stress at working height is less than 100%. Spring will take a set if subjected to a higher stress.
 If a spring is designed for dynamic application, make sure that the % stress at working height is less than 80%. Spring will take a set if subjected to a higher stress.
 Few things to remember:
 If the work height per turn is less than (2 * Wire Thickness), the spring will operate in a 'nonlinear' range and actual loads may be higher than calculated
 Number of turns must be between 2 and 20
 Number of waves per turn (N) must be in ½ increments
 Min. Radial wall = (3 * Wire Thickness)
 Max. Radial Wall = (10 * Wire Thickness)
 It is NOT recommended to compress a wave spring to solid
OD expansion and OD tolerance must be taken into account while designing a spring to fit in a bore and/or over a shaft
Wave Spring Nomenclature:
Formulas:
Operating Stress,
Design stresses for wave springs: 
Static/Low Cycles 


No preset 
: 
100% of tensile strength 
Preset springs 
: 
150% of tensile strength 
Dynamic Service 


10^{4} cycle life 
: 
80% of tensile strength 
10^{5} cycle life 
: 
53% of tensile strength 
10^{6} cycle life 
: 
50% of tensile strength 
10^{7} cycle life 
: 
48% of tensile strength 
Fatigue Stress Ratio,
Where:
s = Material tensile strength
S1 = Calculated operating stress at lower working height (must be less than s)
S2 = Calculated operating stress at upper working height
X 

Estimated Cycle Life 
< .40 
: 
Under 30,000 
.40  .49 
: 
30,000 – 50,000 
.50  .55 
: 
50,000 – 75,000 
.56  .60 
: 
75,000 – 100,000 
.61  .67 
: 
100,000 – 200,000 
.68  .70 
: 
200,000 – 1,000,000 
> .70 
: 
Over 1,000,000 
Deflection, Spring Rate,
Multiple Wave Factor (K): 
N 
2.04.0 
4.56.5 
7.09.5 
10.0 & Over 
K 
3.88 
2.9 
2.3 
2.13 
OD Expansion = (0.02222 Rw N T) + b
Where: