Four Different Types of Fasteners That Every Contractor Should Know

A fastener is a device that joins two or more objects mechanically. Fastening is a process in which two or more machine parts are joined together. A fastener can be used to create permanent or temporary joints. The non-permanent joints can be further dismantled. Examples of fasteners are – nuts, bolts, studs, screws, washers, clips, rivets, nails, etc. These are some items that we used in our day-to-day life. So, fasteners play a crucial role in modern technology and even in our day-to-day life. 

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fasteners

Fasteners can be classified into three categories:- 

1. Temporary Fastening or Non-Permanent Fasteners:-

As the name suggests these types of fasteners are temporary in nature. In this type of fastening, different devices or parts of the machine are joined temporarily and the joint can be opened without causing any damage to both parts. The term temporary does not mean that the joint is weak as combinations of nuts and bolts can be used in many high torque applications. 

Example – Nuts and bolts which are threaded can be easily assembled and disassembled when required. Others are non-threaded such as pins, keys, retaining rings, etc. 

2. Semi-Permanent Fasteners:-

In this type, the joints of two parts are joined in a semi-permanent manner. In this method, if the fastener is opened to open the machine parts, then there is no damage to the parts of the machine, but the fastener definitely gets spoiled. 
Examples of this type of fasteners are rivets and solder are called semi-permanent fasteners.

3. Permanent Fasteners:-

In this type of fastening, the machine parts are permanently attached forever thus it becomes very difficult to separate from each other and even if we forcefully separate these parts, then both the machine and the fastener get damaged. They are often referred to as single-use fasteners like rivets or nails. 

Example of permanent fastening: – Hot riveting and welding

Here is the list of four types of fasteners that every contractor should know 

  • Nails

Nails are the most familiar types of fasteners that you can use at your home. Mostly, nails are made from stainless steel. Other materials used to manufacture nails are galvanized steel, aluminium, copper, brass etc. They come in varieties of shapes and sizes depending upon requirements. Their size usually ranges from 2d to 60d or in inches we can say one inch to six inches. There are also different types of nails available in markets namely – common nails, duplex nails, sinker nails, roofing nails, annular ring nail, spiral shank nails, decking nails etc. 

  • Bolts and Nuts

A bolt has a hexagonal head on one end and external male threads on the other side. Nuts are usually fastened with matching bolts on their threaded shaft. Bolts are closely related to screws. The basic difference between bolts and screws is that bolts have some part of their shaft threaded and screws have the entire threaded shaft. 

In order to provide strong clamping force and prevent axial movement, a bolt is inserted in the hole on one side, and on the other side, a nut is screwed. There are many different types of bolts available in the market like hex-head bolts, double end bolts, eye bolts, Penta bolts, carriage bolts, anti-theft nut bolts, socket head bolts, U bolts etc. 

Nuts are internally threaded and they are available in hexagonal and square shape. In earlier days bolts were in square form but nowadays bolts are usually hexagonal. Different types of nuts are flange nuts, cap nuts, castle nuts, weld nuts, etc. 

  • Screws 

Screws have male thread starting from the head and the head can be of various shapes and sizes. Unlike bolts, they are not tied with nuts on the other end. Screws mainly rely on friction at the threads. 

There are mainly two types of screws – machine screws and self-tapping screws.

Machine Screws – These types of screws are similar to hex bolts except the shank is not present and can be used with a nut. These screws have different shapes of heads and the most common types of machine screws are cap head screw, pan head screw, countersunk head screw etc. 

Self-Tapping Screws – These types of screws use their own threads to get into holes of different materials. These types of screws have sharp threads on the shaft and pointed end which makes it easier to get into any material. They are made from both plastic and metals. 

  • Washers

Washers are thin disks of metal with a hole in the center that allows the bolt to pass through them. The use of washers is based on a simple principle of science – As the area increases, the pressure reduces. Washers increase the area under pressure thus helping the distribution of load across larger areas. Thus the combination of nut, bolt, and washer helps in increasing the strength of the joint. Different types of washers are plain washers, spring washers, locking washers, etc. 

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