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  • Top 5 Basic Elements Of Dowel Pins

    A dowel pin is essentially a cylindrical alloy rod that is mainly used in connecting parts that need to be precisely on top of each other in bigger machinery. In order for these parts to perform their task efficiently, their construction and strength are critical. This is why the manufacturing specifications for dowel pins are standardized by the American Society of Mechanical Engineers and are as follows:

    Dowel pinAccepted materials

    More often than not, dowel pins are made of a steel alloy that incorporates minor percentages of sulfur and phosphorus, 0.04% and 0.05% to be more precise. However, because the pins are used in several industries – including water treatment, pump manufacturing, steel fabrication and railroad construction – they are also available in other materials, such as bras, 18-8 and 316 stainless steel, aluminum and titanium.


    Irrespective of the metal alloy it incorporates, the pins need to undergo a hardening process known as austenitization. This procedure is commonly used on iron-based metals and implies subjecting them to an excessive temperature that allows the alteration of the crystalline structure to austentite (gamma-iron).

    Hardness factor

    The role of the austenitization process is to achieve a certain level hardness for the interior and another for the exterior of the dowel pin. To put it simply, according to ASME's standards a dowel pin has been manufactured correctly if it has a hardness of at least 60 on the case and a level of solidity between 47 and 58 for the core. The hardness is typically measured on the Rockwell C scale, a system that is employed to calculate the steel's indention using a pointed diamond cone. Naturally, harder steel alloys are less indented compared to their softer counterparts.

    Crowned end specifications

    The crowned or rounded end of the dowel pin is obtained via a process known as radiusing, which refers to the removal of the sharp edges and evening its overall surface in order to make it easier to work with. Here manufacturers need to make sure that the crown's height and radius are according to the ASME's specifications. For instance, a 1/8" dowel pin must have a crown height of 0.041" and a crown radius of 0.016".

    Chamfered end measurements

    The chamfered or the slope end of a dowel pin must have an angle between 4 and 16 degrees to be considered suitable for use. The inclinations are usually specified via minimum and maximum point diameters. Keep in mind that because dowel pins are available in various sizes ranging from 1/8'' to 1", it means that the aforementioned points vary as well.

    When shopping around for dowel pins, you should be should pay attention to this data as in the end the diameters of the hole and the pin must match precisely. In case the pins are too small, they will slide out of the hole, whereas larger pins will simply not fit in. As a side note, it is advisable to utilize pins with a length higher than the holes' depth, the remaining segment being commonly known as 'engagement'.

  • Fastener Distributor FAQs | When To Use a Grade 2 Hex Head Bolt

    The hex head bolt holds an important place in the fastener industry. Contractors, OEMs, maintenance staff and many others use hex bolts on a regular basis. Your fastener distributor offers this common fastener in different grades or strengths in order to provide affordable solutions to specific applications and situations.

    Hex Head Bolt Grades

    Hex head bolts are available in several steel grades, including:

    •    Grade 2
    •    Grade 5
    •    Grade 8

    While grade 5 hex bolts, made from medium strength carbon steel and heat treated to provide greater levels of corrosion resistance and strength, are the most commonly used, certain specifications call for grade 8 and grade 2 steel.

    A grade 8 hex head bolt is made from a carbon alloy and treated to create the optimum durability. They are used in the aerospace industry, as well as the military and critical mechanical applications. Offering a higher tensile strength than common grade 5 fasteners-150,000 psi from grade 8 compared to 105,000 psi from grade 5-these bolts provide the reliability required in applications involving heavy loads and stress.

    When Is a Grade 2 Hex Head Bolt Used?

    Grade 2 hex head bolts are made from low to medium strength carbon steel and offer a tensile strength of 60,000 to 74,000 psi, depending on the diameter. Contractors, designers, OEMs and maintenance staff turn to grade 2 steel fasteners for non-critical joints and applications, mainly because of affordability.

    Low to mid-grade steel fasteners cost less to produce and in some cases, have a significantly lower price tag than grade 5 or above. Grade 2 makes economical sense when your application calls for hex head bolts in joints that are not exposed to extreme temperatures and excessive stress.

    A grade 2 hex head bolt comes with an unmarked head, boasting a smooth, circular top above the hex. They can be partially or fully threaded, depending on your needs, and range in diameter from 1/4" to 1 1/2" and above.

    When in doubt, ask your fastener distributor about whether or not a grade 2 hex head bolt will work for your application. Grade 5 and grade 8 will also be available, and may be a more reliable choice depending on the exposure and design.

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