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IT,Sligo

Computer Aided Design

Tolerances

Linear Tolerances Limits & Fits


Manufacturing is principally concerned with ensuring the functionality, interchangeability
and quality of the parts and products that have been designed. Designers must
recognise that manufactured parts will vary somewhat from the original design and that
it is not possible to repeatedly machine components to exact nominal dimension.
Therefore design acceptable tolerances must be determine which indicate how much
the part can safely vary while still maintaining acceptable function, and these tolerances
must be communicated on the drawings. When dimensioning a part drawing, linear
tolerances are used on the functional features of the part to specify the tolerances that
are allowable.
General Tolerances:
In precision engineering, dimensions which only show the nominal size are controlled
by a general tolerance. This will normally apply to non-functional dimensions or where
accuracy is not critical.
The general tolerance may be shown as a
statement on a companys standard
drawing sheet such as All dimensions to
be correct within 0.1mm, unless
otherwise stated. Alternately a general
tolerance may be applied in more detail,
either depending on the accuracy or where the tolerance relates to the number of
decimal places.
If a general tolerance of 0.1mm was applied to the
pin shown opposite in Fig 1, the overall length of the
pin could vary between 59.9 mm and 60.1mm and still
be acceptable. The main diameter of the pin could
also vary from 19.9 to 20.1 and therefore to guarantee
that the pin would fit in a hole, the hole would need to
be machined to the maximum size (i.e. 20.1).

Fig 1: Pin

In some cases it may be necessary to place tighter control on the


accuracy of a particular feature than the general tolerance, and this
may be done by including a symmetrical tolerance to the dimension
on the drawing (see the 50mm dimension shown opposite).

If the tongue shown in Fig 2 is to slide


longitudinally in the slot, then using a general
tolerance could result in the tongue being larger
than the slot and not being able to slide. The
tongue and slot are shown at (b) dimensioned
for satisfactory functioning, where even if the
slot is machined as small as possible and the
tongue as large as possible, there will still be a
clearance fit and the tongue will slide.
Fig 2: Tongue and Slot
1

IT,Sligo

Computer Aided Design

Tolerances

Standard Fits:
As designers recognise that manufacturing must be told how much a part may deviate
from the nominal size while still functioning as intended, and due to the necessity for
interchangeabilty, a system of Limits and Fits has been developed. While the system is
used for all shapes and types of fit, the terminology uses a shaft and hole to define the
principles. Some of the basic terminology is shown below in Fig 3.

Fig 3: Terminology
Types of Fit:
A fit is defined as the working condition between a mating shaft and hole and as we can
neither manufacture nor measure to an exact size, the shaft is deemed to always be
either larger or smaller than the hole. There are three basic types of fits specified:
Clearance Fits:
This gives a condition in which the shaft is smaller than the hole.
Interference Fits: This gives a condition in which the hole is smaller than the shaft.
Transition Fits:
This may provide either clearance or interference at the extremes
of fit.

Fig 4: Types of Fits


2

IT,Sligo

Computer Aided Design

Tolerances

Limits & Fits:


When designing an engineering product the fit required and the appropriate tolerance
must be determined. For example, a gear located on a shaft might require an
interference fit where the shaft is larger than the gear hub, so as to assist in the
transmission of the torque. Alternatively for a plain journal bearing the shaft must be
smaller than the hole in order to allow rotation.
Rather than individual designers deciding on the variability in size for the hole and shaft
dimensions, a standard system has been developed which defines a range of
tolerances and this is now universally accepted and used.
The ISO system of Limits and Fits specifies twenty-eight fundamental deviations for
holes, twenty-eight fundamental deviations for shafts and assigns eighteen grades of
tolerance. This provides an enormous amount of hole and shaft tolerances and a huge
number of fits or mating conditions, which can cater for a wide range of engineering
situations. However, experience shows that the majority of fits required for normal
engineering can be provided by a small selection of these tolerances.
Fundamental Deviation
The fundamental deviation refers to the location of the tolerance with respect to the zero
line (basic/nominal size). Capitol letters are used for holes and lower case letters are
used for shafts.

Fig 5: (a) Fundamental Deviations Holes

(b) Fundamental Deviations shafts

For holes the letters A to G represent


oversize holes, while the letters N to
ZC represents undersize holes.
For shafts the letters a to g represent
undersize shafts, while the letters m
to zc are for oversize shafts.
It should be noted that H (holes) and
h (shafts) have a fundamental
deviation of zero and therefore are
commonly used for one or other of
the components of a fit (hole basis
system or shaft basis system).
Fig 6: Full range of Fundamental Deviations
3

IT,Sligo

Computer Aided Design

Tolerances

Grade of Tolerance:
The grade refers to the width of the tolerance band (actual
magnitude of the tolerance), and is represented by a
number.
There are 18 grades of tolerance, which are
allotted the numbers IT01, IT0, IT1,.IT16. Fine grades
are referred to by the first few numbers. As the numbers
get larger, so the tolerance zone becomes progressively
larger as shown graphically in Fig 7. The actual magnitude
of the tolerance is dependant on the feature size and is
found using tables of limits and fits.
Fig 7: Tolerance Grades
Selected ISO Fits:
The majority of fits required for normal engineering can be provided by a small selection
of tolerances and the following hole and shaft tolerances have been found to be
commonly applied.
Selected hole tolerances:
H7, H8, H9, H11
Selected shaft tolernaces:
c11, d10, e9, f7, g6, h6, k6, n6, p6, s6
The attached data sheet of Selected ISO Fits shows the range of fits derived from these
tolerances and covers a range, from loose clearance to heavy interference fits.
FITS

H11-c11
Slack running
fit
H9-d10
Loose running
fit
H9-e9
Easy running fit
H8-f7
Normal running
fit
H7-g6
Sliding and
location fit
H7-h6
Location fit
H7-k6
Push fit
H7-n6
Tight assembly
fit
H7-p6
Press fit
H7-s6
Heavy press fit

EXAMPLES

Used to give flexibility under


load, easy assembly or a close fit
at elevated temperatures.
Used for gland seals, loose
pulleys and very large bearings.

I.C. engine exhaust


valve in guide

Used for widely separated


bearings or several bearings in
line.
Suitable
for
applications
requiring a good quality fit that
is easy to produce.
Suitable for precision and
location fits.

Camshaft in
bearing

Idler gear on
spindle

Gearbox shaft in
bearing
Valve mechanism
link pin

Suitable for many non-running Valve guide in


assemblies.
head
Used for location fits when
slight interference to eliminate
movement is an advantage.
Used when the degree of
clearance that can result from a
H7-k6 fit is unacceptable.
Ferrous parts are not overstrained during assembly and
dismantling.
Mainly used for permanent
assemblies.
4

Clutch member
keyed to shaft
Commutator shell
on shaft
Split journal
bearing
Cylinder liner in
block

IT,Sligo

Computer Aided Design

Tolerances

Systems of Fits:
Depending on the situation, one or other of the following systems of fits is adopted:
Hole Basis: In the hole basis system the hole is produced to a fixed size. Then the
shaft is made to whatever size is necessary to produce the type of fit required.
Shaft Basis: In the shaft basis system the shaft is of fixed size and the hole diameter is
varied to produce the type of fit which is needed.
Indication of Tolerances on Drawing:
Designers use a number of methods to indicate the actual tolerance that applies to the
dimensions for a particular feature.
1. ISO symbols
This method of tolerancing is used to indicate a particular fit or when
tooling is being used to ensure that a particular tolerance will be met.
The components of the toleranced dimensions are indicated in the
following order:
(a)
the basic size
(b)
the tolerance symbol
2. Permissible deviations
In some cases the designer will specify the actual deviations in order to
control the fit for a particular mating condition. The components of the
toleranced dimensions are indicated in the following order:
(a)
the basic size
(b)
the value of the deviation
If the tolerance is symmetrical in relation to the basis size, the value of
deviations should be indicated once only, preceded by the sign .
deviations is zero, this should be expressed by the digit zero.

If one of the

3: Limits of size
This is rarely specified except on work sheets for components
machined by semi-skilled operators. The limit of size may be indicated
by an upper and lower dimension.

Indicating Tolerances Using SolidWorks:


If you wish the dimensions created in SolidWorks to have tolerances applied to them,
select the appropriate tolerance type/classification in the PropertyManager pane. Enter
the deviation or select the classification or fit required see the examples below.

IT,Sligo

Computer Aided Design

Tolerances

IT,Sligo

Computer Aided Design

Tolerances