When thinking of using fasteners in a marine setting, most people will opt for traditional fasteners such as Grade 5 steel carriage bolts or nitronic 50 hex lag bolts. This is because most of these are easily available, and have been the traditional marine-use fasteners for a long time. However, if you are thinking of getting more out of your boat, you might consider having it fastened using newer materials such as new age nylon.
Using plastic fasteners to join boat panels and parts might at first seem odd. The main problem that most people face is that plastic seems too soft to keep all the boat parts together. However, the truth is that numerous advances have been made in the manufacture of plastic fasteners, which makes them more reliable these days. Some of the reasons why you should definitely think about them for marine use include:
You never need to worry about corrosion
One of the biggest selling points about plastic fasteners is the fact that they are resistant to corrosion. Most other metals apart from gold, platinum and palladium are known to corrode, though the degree varies. You might think that an option would be to use one of these metals to create the fasteners, but they are too expensive for this. Even the metals and alloys that have been specifically designed to resist corrosion will suffer a slow rate of corrosion, which means that at some point in time you will need to have them changed. This is an issue that never arises when using plastic fasteners. Using them gives you more peace of mind, and reduces the need for regular maintenance.
They are resistant to UV radiation
One other benefit of current plastic fasteners is the fact that they are resistant to UV damage. In fact, plastic fasteners are currently being used on the Hubble space telescope, specifically because the device is exposed to incredibly high levels of radiation that it has to resist. Some of the benefits of being UV resistant include the reduced risk of discoloration, as well as the fact that they will not become brittle with time. The latter is often the result of chemical reactions that are accelerated by UV radiation.
They can be reinforced
If you are still worried about the strength of the plastic fasteners, you can get ones that are reinforced by metal. This is done by putting a strip of metal in the core of the fastener, and then surrounding it with the appropriate plastic. This allows you to benefit from the strength of the metal, as well as the reduced corrosive profile of the plastic.
In summary, if you are a boat manufacturer or an owner who is looking to make their boats more efficient and less stressful during maintenance, you should consider switching to plastic fasteners. The above are just a few of the benefits you are likely to reap from making this move. Of course, you need to consult a high quality distributor to get the best fasteners.
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.