Types of Fasteners

A fastener is a hardware device used to mechanically join two or more objects together, generally in a non-permanent joint. Fasteners have a broad range of uses in a diverse set of industries. As such, there are many different types of fasteners on the market. The most common types of fasteners are bolts, screws, nuts, and washers. In this blog, we will discuss each type and its unique characteristics.

Bolts are the most common type of fastener. They are commonly used to hold two unthreaded components together. Bolts feature external male threads on one end and a hexagonal head on the other. A bolt is typically fastened with a nut on the opposite end, though one of the parts may have a threaded hole to replace the bolt and minimize the number of components. There are many different types of bolts, each with unique advantages and disadvantages. The main types of bolts are hex-head, double end, eye, penta, carriage, socket head, and u-bolts.

Screws are similar in structure to bolts, featuring a male thread starting from the tip and head of varying shapes. Despite this, there are key differences between screws and bolts. For example, bolts can easily hold unthreaded objects together with a nut, while a screw typically needs internal threads to maintain a grip. Screws are also self-threading, meaning they create the thread into the material during the installation process, eliminating the need for previous threading. The different types of screws include countersunk, deck, hex lag, self-drilling, machine, sheet metal, and wood screws.

A nut is a fastener with an internal thread used in tandem with a mating bolt of the same size. The most common type of nut is the hex nut. It is popular because they provide six points to grip, offset at 15 degrees. This effectively provides 12 points to approach the nut from. Hex nuts are especially beneficial in tight spaces and flat surfaces. Other types of nuts are cap, castle, welt, and rivet nuts.

Finally, washers are small metal discs in the shape of an annulus. Washers are used with nuts and bolts where they alleviate friction, help evenly distribute pressure on the fastened components, eliminate leakage, isolate components, and prevent loosening due to excess vibration. Metals are the most common washer materials, though plastic is also used. Like other types of fasteners, washers come in many types. These include plain, spring, and locking washers.

While these are the four most common types of fasteners, many others exist. Some of these are retaining rings, rivets, anchors, and inserts. For all types of fasteners and much more, look no further than Purchasing 3sixty. Owned and operated by ASAP Semiconductor, we can help you find all types of parts for the aerospace, civil aviation, defense, electronics, industrial, and IT hardware markets. Our account managers are always available and ready to help you find all the parts and equipment you need, 24/7-365. For a quick and competitive quote, contact us today. Let us show you why we consider ourselves the future of purchasing.


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January 25, 2021
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