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Common Types of Fasteners and How They Differ From One Another

When assembling various types of parts together, fasteners are often the components of choice for securing everything. Across a variety of applications and industries, fasteners are devices capable of creating strong and reliable joints, and they typically can be installed, dismantled, and removed without causing damage unless they are a permanent type. As there are many forms of fasteners that one may take advantage of, each with its own capabilities, roles, and limitations, it can be very beneficial to have a basic understanding of the most common types and how they may be used.


Bolts are one of the most prevalent fasteners in the market, generally coming in the form of a threaded shaft with a head on one side. Bolts may feature a number of head types or shafts that accommodate assembly needs, and their installation will typically necessitate a mating nut that tightens onto the tail end of the device. One of the most common types of bolts available is the hex head variation, that of which has a hexagonal head that can be driven with a wrench. These bolts are quite popular as the hexagonal head is known to be the most optimal for tightening based on the amount of torque that can be provided with each turn. Beyond the hex head bolt, other common options include carriage bolts, machine screws, shoulder bolts, socket cap screws, and much more.


Screws are often compared to bolts as a result of their shape and design, though rather than requiring a mating nut on the other side of the assembly to be installed, screws are able to bore their own holes in a surface as they are installed. Sheet metal screws are a popular type that is found in various industries, and these fasteners have sharp cutting threads that are able to dig through sheet metal, plastic, and wood when tightened with a screwdriver.


Nuts are fairly simplistic fasteners, commonly coming in the form of a circular component with internal threading that is present in a centralized hole. As stated before, nuts are regularly paired with bolts, and they do so with their internal threading that mates with the external threading of bolts and other fastener types. There are many types of nuts that one may choose from, coupling nut, castle nut, hex finish nut, and hex jam nut components all serving as common examples.


Washers are a type of fastener that is unable to secure assemblies by itself, instead accompanying other hardware to offer support in various ways. Washers often come in the form of thin, circular metal pieces with a centralized hole, and they are typically placed between a surface of an assembly and fastener to help distribute loads, act as a spacer, prevent loosening, and more. There are many types of washers that one may choose from, and the choice should be made based on the particular need of a joint or assembly.


Rivets are known for their high strength and reliability, acting as a permanent fastener that cannot be removed once installed, necessitating a tool to break it off when the time comes for disassembly and/or replacement. There are many forms of rivets, the most basic designs coming in the form of smooth, unthreaded shafts with a head on one side. For installation, the tail of the rivet is passed through a preformed hole, and various tools may be used to create a second head on the opposite side to lock the fastener in place.


Aside from the fasteners we have discussed in this piece, there are a plethora of other types that one may take advantage of to establish an optimal and secure assembly. No matter your hardware needs, we at Civil Aviation 360 are always ready to supply you with competitive pricing and rapid lead times on all we carry. As you explore our various part and manufacturer catalogs, take note of your items of interest and utilize our online RFQ forms to quickly and easily request quotes for your comparisons. Upon receiving a submitted form, our team members will formulate a customized solution that addresses your needs to the best of our abilities. Get started on the procurement process today to see why customers around the globe continue to rely on Civil Aviation 360 for all their operational requirements.



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