They have been used across industries and for multiple applications for a long time and they are still widely utilized today. Fasteners are universal hardware devices used to temporarily link two or more items together. Due to being easy to dismantle they are a popular choice among manufacturing companies and are widely used in industries such as building and construction, automotive, furniture, aerospace, lawn and gardening, industrial machinery, and many more.
It might be easier to name the industries that do not use them since they play a vital role in creating a stable and non-permanent connection between components. Even just looking around one’s house, they are used in most home appliances and consumer electronics.
Since they are utilized for multiple purposes, they are available in an array of sizes, types, and styles and can be made from various materials. So, if you are interested in learning more about them, here are some things to have in mind.
The Basic Identification
Different fasteners are used for different purposes and each category has its own specifications. This information typically includes the type, head style, drive type, material, plating, and grade. Some other information includes the size which usually consists of the diameter, length, and thread count.
The fastener type relates to the general category such as screws, nuts, rivets, retaining rings, concrete anchors, etc. The head style describes the head’s shape while the drive type details what type of tool is used to install a fastener.
As mentioned above, there are numerous types, some that are more widespread as compared to others. The ones that prevail in use include:
- Machine Types – are threaded fully and can utilize a nut. Certain types come with a permanently connected washer that free spins and that is meant to ease the installation process.
- Sheet Metal Types – they are also threaded and optimal, as one can guess, for sheet metal. Their design allows them to be driven into material directly. Thanks to their sharp points, they also work well in other materials like fiberglass or plastic, as well as wood.
- Wood Types – as one can tell from the name, they work well with wood but can also be utilized in other soft materials. They easily connect pieces with their smooth shank and a tapered point.
- Socket Types – essentially, they are machine type screws but come with a hex socket, meaning you will need to use an Allen wrench for installation. Known as the Allen head, longer socket types offer a smoother shank.
- Lag Style – also called lag screws, they come with a hex head, pointed tip, and wooden thread. Generally utilized in industries such as landscaping and construction.
- Hex Type – named after the hexagonal tops they are widely used in construction and machinery. A special type known as tap bolt is threaded fully.
- Carriage Style Bolts – have a small square section under their heads. This square part pulls itself into the material to eliminate the possibility of spinning when installed.
Although both categories are available in several sizes, sometimes not a single one might be suitable for a project, however, there is no need to worry.
Manufacturing companies such as The Federal Group offer custom fasteners that are built with precision based on an individual’s requirements. The company’s engineers also offer help with determining the right specifications if one is unsure of what requirements might be optimal for their project.
They are important for keeping fasteners in place in through-hole applications. They also prevent loosening. They come in a variety of shapes and purposes such as a wing nut that can be tightened by hand, a standard hex one, a cap nut that has a dome over its top, square nut, a jam nut that is reduced in height, and many more.
Also great to prevent loosening, they distribute the pressure over a wider area when other fasteners, like bolts, are being tightened. The most common washers include flat and fender ones, but there are other types such as a finishing one, square washer, internal or external tooth lock washer, sealing one, dock washer, and others.
They are extremely strong and used to prevent two items from pulling apart. They are great when efficiency and speed are needed, but unlike screws and bolts, they are permanent and cannot be removed or readjusted once installed.
To install it, one simply needs to drill a hole and use a rivet tool. These fasteners can be utilized for both light-duty and heavy-duty applications. They consist of a head and a cylindrical shaft that expands in diameter once it is passed through a hole.
Common types include open-end rivets, sealed or closed-end ones, colored rivets, large flange types, multi-grip rivets, countersunk types, and more.
Concrete anchors are also known as anchor bolts. They are utilized for connecting elements to concrete and keeping them securely attached. They are available as light, medium, or heavy-duty fasteners depending on what kind of attachment one needs to create. Wedge anchors, drop-in, and double expansion shield ones are some of the most popular, commonly used types.
The most commonly used material is steel, especially stainless steel, but several other ones are used too. These include bronze, more specifically silicon bronze, brass, and aluminum.
Many fasteners come with a certain type of coating. The ones available include zinc coating, chrome plating, and hot-dipped galvanized steel. While zinc offers resistance to corrosion, hot-dip galvanizing is more superior since it applies the thickest possible coating on any metal. Chrome is usually applied and polished for appearance and is also resistant to corrosion, however, it is more expensive than any other type.
Since there are many different kinds of fasteners, it is important to consider all the factors and your project’s requirements before purchase. Do not hesitate to ask professionals for help if you do not know what your optimal choice is and do get custom made ones if they are the best option. After all, that is the only way to ensure everything works optimally and stays in perfect order.