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what is spring clamps?
May 12, 2017

Spring clamps are typically made from a strip of spring steel, cut so that one side has a narrow protrusion centered on the end, and the other side a pair of narrow protrusions on either side. The ends of these protrusions are then bent outwards, and the strip rolled to form a ring, with the protruding tabs intermeshing. To use the clamp, the exposed tabs are pressed towards each other (typically usingpliers), increasing the diameter of the ring, and the clamp is slid onto the hose, past the portion that will go onto the barb. The hose is then fit onto the barb, the clamp expanded again, slid onto the portion of the hose over the barb, then released, compressing the hose onto the barb. Clamps of this design are rarely used for high pressures or large hoses, as they would require unwieldy amounts of steel to generate enough clamping force, and be impossible to work with using just hand tools. They are commonly used on automotive cooling system hoses several inches in diameter, for example on most water-cooled Volkswagen automobiles.

Spring clamps are particularly suited for confined or otherwise awkward places where other clip types would require tightening tools applied from narrow and possibly inaccessible angles. This has made them particularly popular for applications such as automotive engine bays and for securing barb connections in PC water-cooling.

A simple spring clamp, used on an automotive vacuum hose.

Another type of spring clamp, typically only used on vacuum hoses, is just a piece of spring steel wire bent into a loop, with the ends curled to provide handles. These are used similar to standard spring clamps, but are just pinched by hand, and provide very little clamping force. Rather than attempting to seal a hose into a barb, they just place a slight pressure on the hose, helping to keep it from sliding off the barb.