One of the goals of choosing fasteners is making sure that you end up with one that will satisfy your needs. To do this, it’s usually necessary to have some knowledge about the various types of fasteners that are there, and what qualities they have.
This way, you can then match a particular fastener type to a specific application. Making simple mistakes such as using an aluminum hex head cap screw where a titanium socket head cap screw would do could result in failure of the joint. It could also turn out to be an expensive mistake, since you may need to pay for maintenance too often.
Out of the various technical issues you have to keep in mind, one that you should never ignore is the type of cap screw you should use. The fact that there are many to choose from may make you think that picking the best one is difficult, but you only need a rudimentary knowledge of each for you to do so. Some of the most common types of cap screws you can use these days include:
Flat head cap screws
The flat head cap screws are designed to have a thin, level head. They could have a slot or Philips type screw on the head. These types of screws are usually ideal for when you need the fastener to be flush with the surface into which you are placing it. For this reason, they are usually best used in situations where you would want there to be no protrusions from the surface. An example of this is when you are putting together the fuselage of an aircraft. In such settings, having too many fasteners protruding from the surface could result in increased drag, and could also spoil the aerodynamics of the plane. The use of flat head cap screws would prevent this from happening.
Hex head cap screws
These are some of the most common types of cap screws. As the name suggests, their heads are designed to have a hexagonal shape. They are best for when you need a heavy duty screw to keep an item together. They are also ideal in situations where the fastener would be exposed to large forces. When selecting the hex head cap screws, it is usually wise to find out exactly how much force the fastener will be subjected to. This makes it easier to figure out which size to get, as well as which material to order the screw in.
Round socket head screws
The round socket head screws have a smooth round head. They can either be high or low, which refers to the size of the head. The low round socket head screws have a head that is nearly flat, while the high ones are more protruding.
These types of screws are most used to put electronics together. They are usually very tough and can be used as security fasteners as well. Without the use of proper equipment, they can be difficult to install and remove.
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.