When you are shopping for fasteners, it is usually important to have minimum technical knowledge regarding the way they work. This way, it will be easier for you to determine what specifications you should get for the fasteners. In addition to that, this information will make it easier for you to order custom made fasteners if you ever need them. There are quite a number of technical specifications you often need to understand, but one that most people don’t pay enough attention to is the issue of hardness and strength. The majority of people consider these to be synonymous, but this is not the case. There are some small but significant differences between the two, which you need to understand if you are to get the best products. This is particularly so when you intend to buy stainless steel hex head cap screws or aluminum socket set screws for applications that will involve a lot of weight being placed on the fasteners.
Fastener hardness versus strength
In technical circles, hardness refers to the ability of a material to be penetrated by another one. A fastener is said to be hard if it resists any force that tends to deform it. Strength, on the other hand, is how much a material can withstand a force before it starts deforming. You will find that most of the time, hard fasteners tend to be brittle. This means that when they are exposed to forces that exceed their capacity to resist change, they end up breaking in such a manner that they cannot be repaired. However, a strong material tends to go through some degree of plastic change. At this point, removal of the load will result in the fastener returning to its previous form. However, when this range is exceeded, it will end up having permanent change.
Which one should you get for your fasteners?
There are some products that have strength, and some that have hardness. Most of the time, you will find that the more of one you have, the less of the other you will have. If you are interested in buying fasteners, you need to figure out the quality that you need between these two. If you think that the ideal fastener is one that would resist even slight deformation as much as possible, then you would need to get one made out of a material that has high degrees of hardness.
The importance of professional input
As you can imagine, figuring this all out can be difficult especially if you don’t have a background in physics or any other related field. If you want to make minimal mistakes when investing in fasteners, you are advised to consult a professional so that they can figure out which quality you should go for. This usually involves first identifying the conditions in which the fastener will be used, and then doing calculations to determine whether the ideal fastener should be very hard or very strong. If you buy your fasteners from a renowned vendor, they are likely to do this for you.
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.