One of the commonest types of fasteners used out there is the hex head cap screw. However, the fact that it is so common does not automatically mean that all of them are the same. If you are interested in using one of these for any fastening process, you will often need to be careful about which one you choose. Ending up with the wrong one will not only make the joints you are fastening less reliable, but can also reduce the overall longevity of the material you are trying to fasten as well. This means that paying attention to the qualities of the cap screw you get is essential.
One of the things you will need to choose careful is the material that the hex head cap screw is made of. Most high quality fastener distributors will offer a wide variety of products, which means that by the time you approach them you should have a relatively good idea of what you need from them. In terms of material, some of the common options you can find include:
This is the commonest material in which the screws are made out of. They also happen to be some of the cheapest as well. It is important to have a good idea of the type of environment in which the screw will be used, since this will also determine which subtype of steel screw to get. For instance, if the screw is going to be subjected to large forces, you would be better off using the special high strength steel screws.
These tend to be very expensive compared to other types of screws. However, they have a number of distinct advantages which makes them worth it in some cases. For instance, they are very light, which means that they are the ideal types of screws to be used when weight is an issue. In addition to that, they can also be polished to a shine, which is useful in case the screws need to have aesthetic value as well.
This offers the best resistance against corrosion. Copper screws are therefore of benefit in environments where this is very important, such as in the assembly of items that will be used in saltwater conditions. In order to make it stronger, the copper is normally mixed with a metal such as nickel.
These happen to be extremely light. However, the fact that this metal is brittle means that the screws made out of it are not widely used especially in cases where the shear forces are high.
This is a metal that offers the best of both world when it comes to lightness and strength. Screws made out of titanium are mainly used in aircraft, though some other industries such as the automotive industry have also started using it as well. The only drawback to using titanium screws is that they are very expensive.
In summary, the next time you are off to buy screws, it would be a good idea for you to have a good idea of which material you need them to be made out of. This is primarily determined by how you want to use them.
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.