Here at Armafix, years of experience in the fixings and general support solutions market has taught us a thing or two about how to choose the perfect fasteners. In our latest blog, we break down the various types of fasteners; their applications and what kind is best for the task at hand. Read our full advice piece below and don’t forget to follow our blog for more top tradesman tips!
Whether you work in the mechanical, electrical or manufacturing sector, one thing is true: your choice of fastener can make that critical difference between success and failure. After all: these are the critical components that are used for applications like connecting companion flanges; connecting pipes to load-bearing walls and fixing heavy equipment like air conditioning units to ceiling space. Keeping these appropriately fastened is safety critical: so knowing how to pick the right fastener is essential.
What Kind of Fastener Do I Need?
With all of the choices out there, choosing the right fastener for your task at hand can be a challenge. To make that decision-making process as easy as possible, we’ve created a step-by-step guide to make sure you choose the right product; avoiding potential remedial work along the way. Keep reading to learn more!
Step #1: Know Your Application
This step may seem like a no-brainer. However, we’ve seen many cases where contractors have placed large orders of a product that simply doesn’t meet the right specifications. Always remember: before you place and order and before you get to work, know your application first!
Your choice of metal finish (eg mild steel or stainless steel) will largely depend on the requirements of the application in-question. You should familiarise yourself with the environment the fixing are being installed in to make sure the correct type of steel is being used. For instance fixings in coastal areas will generally need to be hot dip galvanised or stainless steel.
There’s a couple of key questions you’ll want to ask yourself before arriving at a purchasing decision. Firstly, you’ll want to know if your fasteners actually fit. If you’re using a bolt, for example, you’ll need to determine head type and size to ensure you have the correct setting tool. Also you’ll want to know how much torque and shear strength that fastening can take.
Aside from that, Armafix recommends understanding thread sizes and how they can affect your job. Thread sizes will need to be chosen according to which provides the best load-handling characteristics.
Step #2: What are Fasteners Used for?
What are fasteners used for? That question is somewhat tricky to answer, because fasteners have nearly limitless applications. Homeowners are likely to use fasteners for many DIY projects and basic household tasks. Workers in various industries can use industrial fasteners for all sorts of projects. If you need to attach two components, a fastener is likely the way you’ll do so. Here are some examples of common fastener uses.
- Building and construction: A metal fastener can serve multiple purposes to ensure materials stay together during construction projects.
- Electronics manufacturing: Fasteners play a prominent role in the production of electronic machinery, components and goods used in the workplace and at home.
Step #3: Different Uses for Fasteners
You’ve done your research. You know the type of application your fastener must work with, and you know what your project will demand from your choice of faster. Now it’s time to decide on the fastener itself, and this will require a little bit of thought and consideration. There are 4 key groups of fasteners, which we explain in separate sections below. Check it out!
Screws are an incredibly broad category of products and can be used in dozens of applications. Some may be better suited to heavy duty projects, whilst others may be better for outdoor projects.
Screws are available with a wide variety of heads and drive types, including pan countersunk head to pozi and torx drive. Your choice of head and drive type will determine how the screw is driven into a surface, so make your choice wisely.
There is a huge choice of screws out there, and Armafix is proud to stock the common ones. These include wood screws, hex set screws. Options even include self-drilling screws which can eliminate the need for a pre-drilled hole!
Hex Set Screws
Where screws will not provide a strong enough hold, Hex Set Screws are an extremely popular choice. And, just like screws, there’s a huge variety of solutions to choose from.
Hex Set Screws have a hexagonal head (you guessed it) with threads that are used with a nut or a tapped hole. Available in high tensile and in many different finishes from BZP to Stainless Steel. Specify the diameter and length and you’re sorted.
Nuts are small components that are often used to fasten a bolt. Nuts and bolts are nearly always used together, and when combined they provide significant stability and load-bearing capacity. When the bolt runs through the nut a strong bond is created which can withstand huge pressures. Please note that removal of these components will require spanners or sockets.
There are lots of popular choices here, including nylon insert locks and flange nuts. You can also choose a more specialised nut that can be used in a more versatile range, including cap nuts which offer more aesthetic value.
It may be the case that you need a nut that can withstand high temperatures. In this event, Armafix recommends a prevailing torque lock. In any case, you can get in touch for advice on what nut is best.
Anchors come in a huge variety of shapes and sizes, and your choice of anchor should depend on the type of wall material you’re working with (e.g. wood, concrete, brick, stone etc).
Anchors embed themselves in the material and hold the object you’re affixing in place, mainly used in solid materials such as concrete and bricks. However, it’s important to note that anchors can fail wherever the brick is hollow. To avoid this issue, contact our team for some advice.
Need a Specific Fastener? Armafix Has You Covered
As a leading supplier of fixings & general support solutions throughout the UK, you can count on Armafix to supply the perfect fastener to save you time, money and hassle. To get started, view our full range of support systems. Alternatively, contact us to discuss your unique job requirements and our experts will be happy to help!