Understanding Industrial Equipment

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5 Categories of Fasteners You Can Use

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The word "fasteners" can conjure up images of fancy pieces of equipment, but in reality, a fastener is simply a hardware device that is used to join together two or more objects. Fasteners create connections between two objects that are not permanent, as the fastener can always be removed. Here are a few general categories of fasteners that you should be aware of.

1. Screws

Screws are one of the types of fasteners that people are most familiar with. Screws hold two different materials together by digging into the material with a turning motion and attaching one material to another. A screw is a completely threaded component that is tapered and works on its own.

With screws, many different head types impact the device you use to put the screw in place and which impact the material the screw can be used with. Common screw head types include a binder, button, fillister, flat, hex, pan, oval, and socket heads.

2. Thumb Screws and Knobs

Thumbscrews and knobs are a little different than a screw. They generally have a tall head that is easy for you to grip so that you can loosen and tighten them by hand. Thumbscrews and knobs are often used for devices that need to be secure but also require quick access, like a battery cover.

3. Bolts

Bolts are different from screws because they have two unthreaded components, whereas a screw only has threaded components. With a bolt, the head of the bolt is bigger than the shaft, and a nut is needed to keep things tight.

Bolts are often used in mechanical situations, and there are specially designed bolts that are often used for securing cables and wires, known as nylon eye bolts.

4. Nuts

Nuts do not work on their own. Instead, they work together with bolts and help strengthen the bolt and hold things together. The structure of the nut impacts how it is used. Nuts are designed to withstand vibrations. There are a variety of different types of nuts used for different applications, such as hex nut, wing and fly nuts, knurled thumb nuts, and grommet nuts.  

5. Panel Fasteners

Another type of fastener is a panel fastener. A panel fastener is used to connect together different panels. They are used to secure a cover or panel in place and are made of two parts, one that is fixed in place and one that can be removed. Different styles of panel fasteners, such as a quarter-turn panel fastener, are designed to provide quicker access, and others, such as the panel retainer clips, are used to hold glass in place.

When looking at industrial fasteners, it is important to think about what you need to use them for. There are numerous types of fasteners and various types of applications and material differences.