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Selecting a Fastener Size & Material

04/30/2015

When selecting a fastener to use for your application, both the material and size selection is important in creating a strong and lasting product. In many cases, a joint will have to operate under conditions of extreme temperature, vibration, pressure, and shock, so do not underestimate the complexity of choosing the correct size and material. The goal is to select a fastener that will create a clamp force that prevents separation and movement of the clamped parts once external forces are applied. A common mistake is to oversize the fastener, which can lead to a joint with a low clamp load, high risk for failure, and difficulty tightening. Follow these steps when selecting the correct size for your application:

  1. Determine your load case.
  2. Calculate necessary clamping force for the joint.
  3. Choose the smallest bolt diameter that can support the clamp load. This will ensure a tight fit.
  4. Select an effective bolt securing method.
  5. Decide on the most appropriate tightening method.

At All State Fastener Corporation, we are prepared to determine the best solution for you, whether it is a standard off-the-shelf part or a custom-created part. Our depth of expertise and cross-functional experience make us well-suited to help you select the correct size.

And of course there is the material of the fastener to also consider. Plenty of factors come in to play here including cost, the environment it will be in, the presence of corrosive elements, the stress that will be applied, and the overall structural stability. At All State Fastener Corporation, we offer many materials: aluminum, brass, bronze, monel, nylon, steel, stainless steel, plastic, and titanium. Here are the benefits of a few of our materials:

Steel & Stainless Steel Fasteners

Steel is the most widely-used material in fastener production due to its high degree of formability and its strength and durability. Compared to other metals, it is generally less expensive. It is usually the best choice when you need it to deliver strength, ranging in mechanical strength of 50 ksi to 300 ksi. And if the environment in which it is going to be exposed is going to be very corrosive, stainless steel may be the best option. It should be noted, however, that stainless steel has a final strength of only 70 to 220 ksi and they are less magnetic than other steels.

Aluminum Fasteners

Aluminum is extremely light-weight compared to other metals, so it is a great option in applications where weight is an issue. However, it is much more malleable, making the durability factor decrease. Aluminum is also good for non-magnetic permeability as it is non-magnetic and also good for places where high electrical conductivity is a major requirement.

Nylon Fasteners

Nylon fasteners are another great option when weight is a factor due to the material being made up of a lightweight synthetic plastic. It is corrosion-resistant and has high electrical and thermal insulating properties. Another bonus is that it can easily be dyed to match the other parts of your application. However, it does not have high durability with a low tensile strength, not effective with applications requiring physical strength.

But not matter what your application, we have the materials ready to find the solution you are looking for. Just as we can help you find the best size fastener, we can help you determine the best material for it. We will tailor a logistics and vendor manufacturing strategy for every order and customize based on variables such as each part, plant, and customer location. Give us a call today; we’d be happy to discuss your options.