Fasteners: A Detailed Overview

Defining Fasteners

A fastener is a device, either temporary or permanent, used for securely joining two surfaces or objects. Non-permanent fasteners are detachable without harming the connected materials, whereas permanent fasteners often require significant force for removal and may damage the joined areas. Permanent fasteners are intended for long-term, robust connections.

  • Diverse Fasteners

Fasteners come in various forms like screws, nails, nuts, bolts, and washers, available in multiple sizes and designs. These are widely used in construction, fabrication, and customizing various products and industrial equipment.

Non-Permanent vs. Permanent Threaded Fasteners

Fasteners exist in countless shapes and sizes, ranging from simple nails to large bolts for industrial machinery. They can be standard or custom-made for specific applications. Each industry has unique fastener needs.

The difference in fasteners arises from the intense forces they withstand. Fasteners are designed to keep components together under high vibration and pressure, yet allow for disassembly when needed.

Fasteners can be categorized by permanence (permanent vs. non-permanent) and threading (threaded vs. non-threaded). Permanent types include rivets and couplings, while screws and bolts are threaded. Non-threaded, permanent types include dowel pins and blind fasteners.

Bolts, a common fastener type, join non-threaded items. They vary in head shapes and types.

  1. Anchor Bolts

Anchor bolts, or “cast in place” bolts, are embedded in concrete for securing columns and supports.

  1. Arbor Bolts

Arbor bolts have a permanent washer and reverse threading, used in tools like miter saws to secure blades.

  1. Carriage Bolts

Carriage bolts, known for their smooth head and square section underneath, are versatile for various materials.

  1. Wheel Bolts

Wheel bolts attach car wheels, threading through the brake rotor hat into the hub.

  1. Wheel Nuts

Wheel nuts, or lug nuts, secure car or truck wheels. They vary in style and material, commonly made from chrome-plated steel.

  1. Elevator Bolts

Designed for elevator construction, elevator bolts have a large flat head with a square neck, handling vibrations and shocks.

  1. Hex Head Bolts

Named for their hexagonal head, these bolts are easy to tighten with various wrenches.

  1. Double End Bolts

These headless bolts have threads at both ends, sometimes featuring a nut on one side.

  1. Eye Bolts

Eye bolts feature a loop or circle instead of a traditional head, used for securing lines or guiding ropes.

  1. U-Shape Bolts

U bolts, made from various metals, have two threaded arms and are used for clamping and securing components.

  • Screws

Screws, similar to bolts, don’t require nuts for connection but need internal threads in the material for grip. They can be self-threading or self-tapping, creating their own threads upon installation.

  1. Self-Drilling Screws

These create internal threading on installation, fully threaded from tip to head.

  1. Sheet Metal Screws

Designed for joining metal, these screws have sharp tips and are often self-drilling.

  1. Machine Screws

Machine screws, smaller than other types, join metal pieces with pre-threaded holes.

  1. Dowel Screws

Dowel screws, similar to double end bolts, are headless and threaded with a wood screw tip.

  1. Thread Cutting Screws

These create new threads in existing holes, used for equipment requiring regular maintenance.

  1. Wood Screws

Used for joining wood, these screws have partially threaded shanks.

  1. Sems Screws

Unique screws with permanent free-spinning washers, available in various combinations.

  • Nuts

Nuts, used with matching bolts, come in many varieties, including hex, cap, castle, and weld nuts.

Screw and Bolt Heads

The head design is crucial, varying from flat countersunk to hex washer heads, each serving specific purposes.

  • Drivers

The driver part transfers torque to the bolt or screw. Common types include slotted, Phillips, Pozi, Torx, and hexagonal drivers, each with unique features for specific applications.

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