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Fastener materials

Views: 2     Author: Site Editor     Publish Time: 2024-03-06      Origin: Site

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About Fastener Materials

General

Fasteners are manufactured in a wide range of materials from common steel to titanium, plastic and other exotic materials. Many materials are further separated into different grades to describe specific alloy mixtures, hardening processes, etc. In addition, some materials are available with a variety of coatings or platings to enhance the corrosion resistance or alter the appearance of the fastener.

Fastener material can be important when choosing a fastener due to differences between materials in strength, brittleness, corrosion resistance, galvanic corrosion properties and, of course, cost.

When replacing fasteners, it is generally best to match what you are replacing. Replacing a bolt with a stronger one is not always safe. Harder bolts tend to be more brittle and may fail in specific applications. Also some equipment is designed so that the bolts will fail before more expensive or critical items are damaged. In some environments, such as salt water, galvanic corrosion must also be considered if changing fastener materials.


Materials

Stainless steel

Stainless steel is an alloy of low carbon steel and chromium for enhanced corrosion characteristics. Stainless steel is highly corrosion resistant for the price. Because the anti-corrosive properties are inherent to the metal, it will not lose this resistance if scratched during installation or use.

It is a common misconception that stainless steel is stronger than regular steel. In fact, due to their low carbon content, many stainless steel alloys cannot be hardened through heat treatment. The

refore, when compared to regular steel, the stainless alloys used in bolts are slightly stronger than an un-hardened (grade 2) steel but significantly weaker than hardened steel fasteners.

Most stainless steel fasteners are much less magnetic than regular steel fasteners though some grades will be slightly magnetic.

stainless steel


18-8 Stainless ( 304 stainless )

18-8 refers to any stainless steel containing approximately 18% chromium and 8% nickel. This is the most common stainless designation for hardware. 

Stainless 316

A highly corrosion resistant grade of stainless steel. Ideal in salt water and chlorine environments. More expensive than 18-8.

Stainless 410

A stainless alloy that is harder than 18-8 stainless steel, but not as resistant to corrosion.


Steel

steel

Steel is the most common fastener material. It also refers to mild steel or regular steel. Mild steel is better used for low-stress applications due to its ease of fabrication and low cost.

Steel fasteners are available plain as well as with various surface treatments such as zinc plating, galvanization, and chrome plating.


Carbon steel

Carbon steel is a steel with carbon content from about 0.05 up to 2.1 percent by weight. Carbon steel (from medium carbon steel to ultra high carbon steel) is better used for high-strength applications due to its high carbon content and strength.


Brass

brass

Brass is an alloy of primarily copper and zinc. Brass is highly corrosion resistant and electrically conductive. However, its use as a fastener is somewhat limited due to its relative softness. It is used primarily for its appearance.


Aluminum

Aluminum is a light, soft, corrosion resistant metal. Like stainless steel, aluminum's corrosion resistance is inherent to the material. Therefore, scratches and nicks will not effect the corrosion resistance.

Fasteners are made from a variety of aluminum alloys, with elements such as manganese, silicon, iron, magnesium, zinc, copper, and silicon being added to increase strength and melting point.

Rivets are often made from aluminum alloys in the 5000-series, which uses magnesium as the primary alloying element.








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