By definition, bolts and nuts need to be used together in order for the whole ensemble to form a device that can easily fasten an object. However, a significant number of people make the classic mistake of not thinking of nuts and washers as essential to any type of fastening. However, the truth is that you need to get the best of such items if you are to do the fastening properly and effectively. The first step in doing this is knowing the different types and characteristics of nuts and bolts, and then picking the ones that will suit the particular application you want to use them for. Some of these include:
The flat washer
These are the commonest types of washers, and are normally round in shape. They come in different diameters and thickness, so you need to get your specifications right when ordering them. Of course, you can improvise by using more than one washer with each nut, but this is not advisable most of the time. If you buy the washers from a reliable store such as Melfast, you will be able to get ones that perfectly fit your specifications.
These are not very common, though they play a major role in most fastening applications. As the name suggests, they are designed to lock the bolt in place, reducing the chances of movement which further enhances their use as washers. In order to achieve this, the washers are designed to have teeth on the inside or outside. These grip either the material being fastened or the bolt in question.
In addition to washers, there are a couple of nut types you should be aware of including:
The hex nut
The hex nut is a nut that is hexagonal in shape, similar to the heads of the most popular bolts out there. These happen to be the most popular types of nuts, and for this reason tend to be very cheap. A variant of this is the square nut, which has four sides instead of six but is otherwise similar to the hex nut.
The lock nut
This is similar to the hex nut, only that it has a threaded insert which is meant to reduce the risk of loosening of the nut. This type of nut is therefore the best for use in instances where a snug fit is mandatory.
The wing nut
This is yet another popular type of nut that is common in many applications. Due to the nature of the design, the wing nut can easily be tightened and loosened by hand. This makes it the ideal type of nut for use in instances where easy access is required, and when it’s expected that the nut will have to be loosened and tightened repeatedly.
As you can see, there are various types of nuts and washers, each of which is designed for use in a specific environment. Having some knowledge about how they look and how they work can make it easier for you to decide which ones to get for specific applications.
Started my career in the fastener world in 1969 at, Parker Kalon Corp. a NJ based screw manufacturer located in Clifton, NJ working in inventory control, scheduling secondary production and concluding there in purchasing. In 1971 I accepted a sales position at Star Stainless Screw Co., Totowa, NJ working in inside sales and later as an outside salesman, having a successful career at Star I had the desire with a friend to start our own fastener distribution company in 1980 named: Divspec, Kenilworth, NJ. This was a successful adventure but ended in 1985 with me starting Melfast in August 1985 and have stayed competitive and successful to date. Melfast serves the OEM market with approximately 400 accounts nationally.