Whenever you need to use fasteners such as Inconel carriage bolts and nitronic 50 hex lag bolts, it’s almost always a given that you will need to use washers with them. Though they seem like very simple things, the truth of the matter is that washers are an integral part of any fastening job. If you intend to use fasteners in any industry, making sure that you have a keen understanding on the best types of washers to use will be as important as choosing the right fasteners. For this reason, you should never take them for granted at all.
What are they?
In a nutshell, a washer is a circular piece of metal or any other material (commonly nylon or rubber) with a hole in the center through which the fasteners goes. Washers are normally used in conjunction with bolts and nuts. They are used to minimize the risk of the bolt and nuts coming undone due to regular wear and tear. They achieve this by providing an even surface onto which the fastener can then grip.
In addition to that, fasteners by design also distribute the forces subjected to them by the nuts and bolts. This ensures that any nut and bolt assembly will not be subjected to irregular forces which will then lead to damage to the whole system.
Common types of washers
There are different types of washers depending on what you need to achieve with them. One common one is the lock washer. This type has been designed to provide extra protection against loosening. This is achieved by designing the washer with a slight offset on two of its sides. During the compression of the washer when tightening the bolts and nuts, the washer then exerts a spring-like force that keeps the bolt, nut and the item being fastened in tight apposition.
It’s also common to find a star shaped washer. As the name suggests, this type of washer has a star shape, allowing the points of the star to dig into the material being fastened. This locks both the fastener and the item in place, but it has the potential of damaging the material.
The right way to use washers
Despite the fact that they seem simple, there is a technique that is supposed to be used when you are putting washers in place. Failure to use these procedures often results in further damage to the fastener as well as to the material being fastened. Some of the simple things you should keep in mind in order to use the washers correctly include:
- Use a fastener that can go into the hole in the washer without leaving too much space.
- Avoid using the washer to add depth to a bolt and nut system that is far too long for the type of application you are using it for. Always ensure that you use the correct length of fasteners.
In summary, washers are a central item in any fastening job. Making sure that you get them right will go a long way in ensuring that you actually do a good job.
Started her career in the fastener world in 1991 working at Melfast as a receptionist, also handling clerical duties. Later on she began training in sales and also taking on purchasing duties. She is currently responsible for all purchasing and also is responsible for the sales of many accounts of Melfast.