Tolerance rings are used as friction-based retaining elements between two coupled components.

Tolerance rings are used as friction-based retaining elements between two coupled components.


AFA manufactures standard and custom, on request, peaks.

Depending on the sector of application and the specific requests, AFA manufactures tolerance rings exclusively with stainless steel. The chosen thickness depends on the specifications of the tolerance rings.

Fields of use

Tolerance rings are used in electric motors in the automotive industry as

Supports for gears

Security devices

Car doors

When we talk about tolerance rings, we are referring to special rings with radial spring that are pressed on, acting as friction clamping elements – between two coupling components. They are flexible packing elements created to keep two cylindrical parts together. Around the circumference of the tolerance ring, there are undulated protrusions that are able to generate a retention force that provides the perfect adaptation between the two components. All of this without the use of adhesives or excessive assembly force (which also simplifies the process for the manufacturers).

How to benefit from tolerance rings and how do they lower noise

Tolerance rings are also usually employed as bearing supports, in addition to the ideal means for managing torque transfer, protection against torque overload and axial gliding between coupling components. These types of products can also be used to insulate undesirable vibrations in electric motors and to streamline mechanism operation in appliances and cars. In fact these are sectors where the need to contain noise has become increasingly more important in recent years. Plus, in view of product customisation, it is also possible to make changes to tolerance rings to adjust the isolatable frequencies and the dynamic rigidity.

Automotive sector and climate control

Tolerance rings can be used to completely eliminate noise by simply occupying space between the coupling components that would otherwise lead to vibration in the system as the parts are not completely coupled.

As for the main sectors that use tolerance rings, the main one is the automotive industry. In fact, here, tolerance rings are used broadly in automobile kinematic chain and steering systems, as well as inside and outside the vehicle. They are used as friction devices in various applications, for example, in automatic tailgate door motors. In other words, the moment the boot door is lowered and a sensor detects an obstacle, the motor is signalled to stop. It is the tolerance ring that will protect both motor and gear – acting as a clutch – against excessive forces. Car manufacturers also use tolerance rings to install bearings (in hinges of the power plant as well as in the hinges).

Another context that uses these supports is climate control since tolerance rings are used in the mechanisms of air conditioning systems in both residential and industrial settings.