Across various industry verticals, fasteners are integral components used for securing parts in place during operations, and depending on the specific application, different fastener types should be used. Two of the most common fastener choices are screws and bolts, those of which can be found in virtually any setting, holding vital woods, metals, and other materials together. As they both look similar and provide essentially the same functions, bolts and screws are easy to confuse; however, knowing the difference is key to ensuring you make the best choice for your projects.
The main distinguishing factors between screws and bolts is how they are threaded and how they create a hold. First, screws are often self-threading or self-tapping, meaning their threading goes into the material in which the screw is inserted, creating a hold directly in the workpiece. This creates an internal thread in the workpiece, preventing pull-out. Furthermore, the threading of a screw covers the entire shaft of the fastener to allow it to create the strongest hold possible. On the other hand, the threading on bolts serves a different purpose, so bolts are only threaded on their ends. This is because bolts create a secure hold by passing through a pre-made hole in the workpiece before mating with an internally threaded fastener like a nut on the other side.
Despite their differences, screws and bolts are very similar in operation and may offer overlapping advantages and disadvantages. A major reason both fastener types are popular is due to their high strength for their small size, with both screws and bolts operating well with heavy duty steels and other materials. At the same time, they carry load at small, specific points on the workpiece which leads to fatigue over time. Regardless, screws and bolts are frequently the best option for holding parts together, so if you are in need of one or the other, there are a few additional factors to consider to help you choose a specific style.
Given the fact that bolts require an additional fastener component to mate with, it is important to confirm whether there is room in your application for the fastener to protrude out of one side of your workpiece in an accessible manner; if not, a screw should be used. Furthermore, the additional nuts will add weight to your component, so screws are better choices for weight sensitive applications. Other considerations include the type of head your fastener has, that of which will determine the tool needed for installation. The shape of the head’s outer perimeter is one determining factor, such as square head bolts. Additionally, the heads may be flat or domed, as is the case of oval head screws with protruding circular heads. Aside from the head shape, screws in particular have varying shapes of indents on their heads intended for use with specific tools, such as the “x” shape used in tandem with Philips head screwdrivers.
The screws and bolts discussed above are only the tip of the iceberg of the many variations these fasteners may be found in, with dozens of popular designs available on the market. For a premium selection of in-demand bearings, fasteners, connectors parts, and more, make Civil Aviation 360 your trusted procurement partner. Owned and operated by ASAP Semiconductor, we boast unparalleled access to a n inventory of over 2 billion part types from trusted manufacturers around the globe. With an utmost commitment to quality, you can rest assured all items we distribute have been vetted for fit and function before shipping to you with rapid lead times and cost savings. To learn more, you may contact us at any time via phone or email; our experts are readily available around the clock!
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