When you are shopping around for fasteners, one of the types that you are likely to run into are the self-locking ones. These can be variants of the normal types of fasteners such as the Monel 500 carriage bolts or the Hastelloy C276 hex tap bolts. However, they have the distinctive characteristic of being self-locking, […]

self locking fasteners when to use
When you are shopping around for fasteners, one of the types that you are likely to run into are the self-locking ones. These can be variants of the normal types of fasteners such as the Monel 500 carriage bolts or the Hastelloy C276 hex tap bolts. However, they have the distinctive characteristic of being self-locking, which means that they can’t be used for just any application. There are a number of scenarios where the use of such fasteners is particularly effective, as they offer superior performance compared to other types of fasteners. Examples of these scenarios include:

When you are fastening soft materials
There are times when you will need to fasten materials where one or more are very soft. In such cases, using a regular fastener might not be very effective. The fact that one of the materials is soft means that at some point in time, the fastener may come undone, and this in turn means that you would need to spend more money and time fixing this problem. This can also have an influence on the quality of the product. For instance, if you are manufacturing a consumer product and the fasteners come undone after a few months on account of this problem, you can be sure that most people will avoid that product. In such cases, self-locking fasteners are ideal since they hold all the materials together with ease.

 
When locking sheet metal in place
There are times when you will need to use fasteners to lock sheet metal in place. In such cases, you will find that using a combination of very thin metal and regular fasteners will not be a good idea. It will only increase the risk of having the fastener come undone. The major advantage of self-locking fasteners in such settings is the fact that they will hold the thin sheet metal in place as well. In fact, you can even reduce the thickness of the metal to save on weight, as the performance of the fasteners will not be affected by this.
When you need permanent fastening
Most of the time, fasteners are used in such a manner that there will be the potential to remove them in future. However, in a few cases, you might want the fastener to stay in place for the duration of the product’s life. In such cases, using a self-locking fastener would be the most ideal option, since they are essentially permanent.
In hard to reach areas
Many manufacturers prefer to use self-locking fasteners to fasten items that are in hard to reach areas. The low profile nature of the fasteners contributes to this preference, since it means that the fasteners can be safely hidden away without much protrusion.
In summary, self-locking fasteners are an excellent option for many people. To make good use of them, you have to be careful in identifying the ideal circumstances where you can use them. If you are not sure about this, you can always consult your vendor for more advice regarding this.

About the Author

Larry Melone
By Larry Melone
President

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.

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