Clamping force would be applied in a specified nonuniform pattern.
The variable-pressure washer (VPW) is a proposed device that is so named because (1) it would play the role similar to that played by an ordinary washer, except that (2) the clamping pressure applied by it would vary with either circumferential or radial position. In a typical contemplated application, the radially varying clamping pressure would be used to obtain more nearly uniform compression on a pair of concentric seals (e.g., an O-ring or a gasket) in an assembly that experiences larger deformations normal to the sealing surface for locations around the outer diameter of the attachment flange when compared to locations around the inner diameter.
When the VPW was clamped between two flat surfaces, the clamping force would be distributed unevenly across the face of the washer in the radial direction. The different stiffnesses of the springs would be chosen, in conjunction with other design parameters, to obtain a specified radial variation of clamping pressure in the presence of a specified clamping force.