Threaded Fasteners

The 21st century marks the advent of advances in information technology, as well as improvements in physics, robotics, and communication mechanisms around the world. From the fastest car ever made to the smartest phone, we've seen it all.

Much can be written about the elaborate packaging of these machines. Hundreds, if not thousands, of small parts are assembled into our favorite machines. These include power-generating machines, industrial machines, electrical appliances, household appliances, and vehicles. Basically all the vital machines big and small that we see around us that help us carry out our daily activities with ease and comfort.

But What Holds These Machines Together?

Most of the objects we see around us are made up of multiple parts that are assembled to create the final product. There are a variety of ways to join parts, from the simple and often temporary use of adhesives to more advanced welding methods or the use of mechanical fasteners.

Although welding is widely used and considered a permanent method of joining parts, welding can require constant replacement and the joint can weaken over time due to the stresses it must withstand. Because of this, mechanical fasteners have become a popular choice for connecting parts.

Most Commonly Used Threaded Fasteners

Mechanical fasteners can be divided into two broad categories, non-permanent fasteners and permanent fasteners. Also, non-permanent fasteners can be divided into subcategories of general fasteners and threaded fasteners.

The most common non-permanent fasteners are threaded fasteners. This is because a connection formed by threaded fasteners is reversible, i.They can be easily dismantled and reused for other applications.

Another important characteristic that distinguishes a threaded fastener from its non-threaded counterpart is its strength. The common way to create threads in fasteners is to use a lathe, which is used to cut slots in the material used in the manufacture of the fastener. By hardening, these cuts improve the mechanical resistance of the material and make it more resistant.

Thread rolling is another method of manufacturing threaded fasteners.The rolled threads that result from a thread rolling process are much stronger than threads cut by the lathe. This is because the thread rolling process creates favorable stresses in the surface of the fastener material that make it less likely to break and more likely to resist forces.

Main Types of Threaded Fasteners

There are three main types of threaded fasteners, namely bolts, screws and studs.

Bolts

are used in conjunction with a nut and comprises of a head on one end and threads on the other. Bolts can be broadly classified into two categories – round head bolts and wrench head bolts. Round head bolts are used in conjunction with a square nut while wrench head bolt heads can be of square and hexagonal forms.


Screws


are very similar to bolts in that they also have a head on one end with threads on the opposite end. The only difference arises in the length of the threads. Screws usually have longer threads than bolts and thus can be made with slotted heads. The head is intricately shaped in order for screwdrivers or wrenches to have a firm grip when driving the screw in. Screws facilitate the positioning of things and are also fundamentally used to hold pieces together – for example wood.

Screws can be broken down into two categories – cap screws and machine screws. Machine screws are predominantly used for screwing into thin materials as they are comparatively smaller in size than cap screws.

Studs

are rods that are used to adjoin two mating parts and are threaded on both ends. (Kau.edu.sa, 2018)

These tiny fasteners are used in millions of applications around the world. They are hugely advantageous to us as they hold integral systems and machines together, allowing them to function desirably and profitably.

Threaded fasteners are considered the most important category when considering mechanical assembly. They are often used immensely in a single application and therefore the ability to dissemble the fasteners readily is a great advantage. These fasteners are also cost effective and widely available in a variety of sizes for different applications.

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