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October 12, 2017
Choosing the Right Fastener for the Build
At Fasteners, Inc. in Denver, we know that choosing the right fastener for the build is a key decision. If you have a construction project, the right choice of fasteners means a successful completion of your work, so it’s important to understand the type and scope of the project and role the fastener plays in it before you can determine which fasteners will work best. Once you have that nailed down, you can rely on us for an extensive inventory of fasteners. Nuts, bolts, screws and more – we’ve got them for prompt, accurate delivery or shipment.
Let’s look at some of the types of fasteners and different kinds of projects and which ones might go together, taking into account the project, materials, durability, and design.
Types of Fasteners
These have a cylindrical protrusion on top of the head. You need a rivet gun to put the rivet through holes drilled in the materials to fasten. The gun makes the tip of the rivet collapse against the back of the material. This flattens out the tip of the rivet, pulling the material together against the head of the rivet. This makes the materials squeeze together. Rivets are durable and tamper-proof. They are also inexpensive. However, rivets need pre-drilled holes and high-quality tools. Rivets are hard to remove so make sure they’re what you need when choosing the right fastener for the build.
Threaded fasteners, screws are good at holding two pieces of materials together. They are driven by rotation. The screw threads grip and hold the materials and pull the two pieces tightly together. The head of the screw stops the screw when it reaches its proper depth. Screws offer a secure hold but are easily removed. They seldom become loose and there are a large variety of styles. However, it’s hard to hide the screw head and it can sometimes strip. Screws sometimes rip and tear the materials.
These fasteners are like dowels but are metal. Pins are pressed into materials to hold them together. They might have holes on either end, so a clip can be placed into it to secure the pin. Pins are easy to install and remove if not pressed. They can be used as a good temporary fastener. However, pins can be hard to get a tight connection and need drilled holes, so it’s an important decision when choosing the right fastener for the build.
Spiked pieces of steel, nails are driven into the wood to hold the wood or something attached to it securely in place. A hammer or are a nail gun are used to drive them in. If you are dealing with nailing into concrete, a tool with an explosive charge is used. Nails are easily installed, particularly if you have an air gun. They can be countersunk into trim materials and they are inexpensive. However, nails sometimes work loose, split materials, and if your hammer misses, the small head it can damage the materials.
This kind of fastener is U-shaped and is fired into materials to hold them together or keep them in place. You will need a spring-loaded or air-powered staple gun. Staples can be installed fast and removed easily. They can be a good temporary fastening solution and they can bridge seams. However, staples can be loosened easily. They are not load bearing and sometimes they rip through light materials.
These are wooden cylinders that are placed in drilled holes with two different pieces of material. They are tightly pressed into the drilled holes and are secured with wood glue. Dowels have strong holding ability. They are easily installed and you can’t see them. However, you can’t remove them. The drilled holes have to match perfectly and there needs to be time for the glue to dry.
Nuts and Bolts
Threaded fasteners placed in holes drilled through two or more materials are bolts. A threaded nut is placed on the threaded bolt to hold the materials together by screwing it tightly. Washers are used under the head of the bolt to add more holding power. Lock washers or locking nuts are often used to prevent the nuts from loosening or falling off. Nuts and bolts are secure and offer high load bearing. They are easily removed and come in a variety of sizes. However, they require pre-drilled holes in order to install them and you will need multiple tools to tighten them.
Of course, these are just a few of the more common fasteners. There are many other specialized fasteners that are used for specific needs. What material you are working with is key for choosing the right fastener for the build. Keep in mind that most construction projects will be using many different materials, so you will need many different types of fasteners.
Let’s examine what fasteners would be recommended for certain projects. Just a reminder, choosing the right fastener must be followed by the proper use and installation.
Screws or nails are used to install roof panels. Nail guns make a roofing project go faster. You can use staples to hold down the roof tar paper. Roofing nails are best for asphalt shingles.
If there are wooden studs, nails are an option for installing drywall but most of the time you will be using drywall screws. If you have metal wall studs, then drywall screws are the only choice.
Nails can be used for trim work. Using a brad nail gun, brad nails attach trim, moldings, and surface pieces for a nice finish. In areas you can’t see, you can use screws. Dowels are used when all the sides will be visible.
Using a construction adhesive is the first step in attaching furring strips, but you might also want to add one or two fasteners like concrete screws, anchors or lag screws, per strip for extra holding power.
Screws are often used for building decks. The planking, railings, and slats are installed with deck screws which are specially designed for easy installation and rust resistance. The actual deck structure would be bolted together with high-grade nuts and bolts.
Tell us what your project is, and our fastener experts at Fasteners, Inc. in Denver can get you the best fasteners. It’s important in choosing the right fastener for the build to consider the project, the materials, the durability, and the design. Our inventory is large and we can deliver or ship your fastener order.
September 20, 2017
All About Bolts, Nuts, and Washers
No matter the project, it’s important to know all about bolts, nuts, and washers, so you choose the right fastener. Fasteners, Inc. in Denver can help you determine what length, gauge, shape, strength, and material that you will need for your project.
Bolts go through a pre-drilled hole in two or more materials. Bolts are made for a variety of purposes and may also need a nut or washer. Here is an explanation of the types of bolts.
- Standard Bolt: The standard bolt uses a hexagonal head. Used in metal, wood, and plastic applications, it will have a smooth shoulder right under the head and before the thread if it is a long bolt. With shorter standard bolts they may be fully threaded. This kind of bolt goes through a drilled hole and uses a nut on the other side.
- Coach or Carriage Bolt: With a domed head, a coach or carriage bolt has a square section underneath the head that is intended to hold the bolt once it is in the wood. Sometimes two bolts are used to prevent a beam from swiveling.
- Tap Bolt: This kind of bolt is completely threaded. It is used in a threaded or tapped hole and does not need a nut.
A bolt is a type of fastener that often needs a nut that is tightened on the end and helps fasten several materials together. Here are the types of nuts.
- Cap Nut or Acorn Nut: These nuts have domed shapes. The acorn nut’s dome is higher and more pointed than the cap nut. The bolt needs to be the exact length of the material and the nut since the bolt thread doesn’t pass through the nut.
- Nylon Insert Nuts: This type of nut makes a thread as it’s screwed onto the bolt. This helps prevent the nut from slipping or backing out from the bolt. A nylon insert jam lock nut is a shorter version of this type of nut.
- Flange Nut: This kind of nut has a washer that is built in which allows it to be assembled faster. Some of these have toothed washers.
- Wing Nut: The wings on this type of nut allow it to be tightened by hand.
- Hexagonal and Square Nuts: These nuts are used to fit standard bolts.
Often the fastener will need a washer between the nut and the bolt to distribute the load. Sometimes washers are used between the bolt head and the material without a nut.
Washers reduce the wear on the hole and stop the inward pressure on softer materials. In addition, the washer can stop the bolt from coming undone. These are the types of washers.
- Split Lock Washers stop the bolt from backing out.
- Flat Washers are flat and help distribute the load.
- Fender Washers are a flat washer with a bigger diameter.
- Tooth Lock Washers are used to prevent the bolt or nut from backing out.
- Finishing Washers are used for appearance and fits neatly with the nut or bolt.
Learning all about bolts, nuts, and washers and choosing the right fastener for your project is not as hard as it may seem. Our team of fastener experts at Fasteners, Inc. in Denver can assist you in picking the fasteners you might need, including bolts, nuts, and washers.
September 5, 2017
Basics of Construction Fasteners
At Fasteners, Inc. in Denver, we know that the basics of construction fasteners include figuring out the type of material for the job, such as carbon steel, alloy steel, stainless steel and others. The construction industry uses fasteners to join two or more things together, and that could be just about anything. That’s why we have an inventory of over 30,000 items and the experience to help you find the fasteners for your construction project and budget. Our fastener experts can help you decide what type of material will be needed for your fasteners.
In determining which fasteners are needed, you should take into consideration the particular application it will be used for and then we can help you select the correct fastener material by looking at:
- What type of materials are being joined
- Accessibility of the area
- Weight of the materials
- Surrounding environment, such as temperature and exposure to the water and the wind
- Reusability of the fasteners
After we have a better understanding of your construction project we can determine what types of fasteners are needed. Now, let’s take a look at the basics of construction fasteners.
- Anchors attach material to concrete. There is a threaded end that is attached to a nut and a washer.
- Studs have no head and are used as a threaded rod to attach nuts to.
- Bolts are placed through a drilled hole into a material and need a nut to tighten it on the other end.
- Nuts tighten the bolt or threaded rod at the threaded hole center.
- Screws use their helical surface thread to pierce into the material.
- Washers distribute the weight of a threaded fastener. They are thin plates with a hole that are used for locking devices, springs, wear pads and spacers.
Construction Fastener Material
Fasteners are made from different material and offer strengths for different applications.
Carbon Steel: Some fasteners are made of carbon steel and offer good workability along with strength and affordability.
Stainless Steel: This material can resist corrosion and heat, and yet remain strong. It can be chemically modified for different projects’ needs. It is an austenitic, nickel-chromium-iron-silicon alloy. It is resistant to oxidation and carburization up to 2200°F but still retains its strength.
Aluminum: The weight to strength ratio of aluminum exceeds most other materials. It is also non-magnetic with electrical and thermal conductivity, and it can be easily hot and cold forged.
Brass: This type of copper-based alloy is affordable, stronger, and ductile. Known for its strength and resistance to corrosion, 360 brass is one of the most popular copper alloys.
Silicon Bronze: These materials offer strength and toughness along with corrosion resistance and non-magnetic properties. It is often used for fasteners for naval construction, particularly minesweepers. Cold-formed fasteners made from silicon bronze should be stress relieved to reduce the risk of corrosion failure.
When looking at the basics of construction fasteners, you’ll need to look at the application, the type of faster needed and the material that your fastener is made from. Our experienced fastener staff at Fasteners, Inc. in Denver can work with you to determine exactly what you need, whether it’s a construction project or just about any other job under the sun.
August 10, 2017
How to Use Wall Anchors
It’s important to know how to use wall anchors so there are no issues with them loosening up or damaging the wall. At Fasteners, Inc. in Denver, we offer a broad assortment of standard and specialized fasteners like the perfect wall anchor for every surface, as well as bolts, nuts, washers, screws, rivets, clips, clamps, wiring products, fittings, anchors, pins, rods, and retainers. Our goal is always to provide you with the ideal product for your application at a fair price and always with your complete satisfaction.
Let’s take a look at everything you need to know, including how to use wall anchors.
As part of a fastening system, an anchor attaches one object to another when screws, nails, adhesives or other fasteners just don’t work. They are often used on very hard surfaces like concrete and on hollow surfaces like walls, doors, and ceilings, particularly if there isn’t an available wooden stud or beam behind the surface.
The strength of an anchor depends on the type of anchor, what you are hanging, and the kind and condition of the surface. If the wall is structurally weak, has been repaired, or has seen water damage, its strength may be compromised.
There are two types of anchors: expansion anchors, and hollow wall anchors.
- Expansion anchors
These kinds of anchors are used in concrete, brick, mortar, metals or even wood. These anchors expand when a screw or bolt is threaded into them. Expansion anchors are only as strong as the surface material they are installed in. It may look like the anchor is strong at first but if the material it’s installed in is weak, the anchor may loosen and pull out with too much stress.
- Hollow-wall anchors
These types of anchors are used in thin materials or on hollow walls. They spread within the hollow of the wall and can’t be pulled back through the smaller installation hole. The bigger the spread, the stronger the anchor.
Plastic Expansion Anchors
The most commonly used anchors are the plastic expansion anchors. They come in different of sizes and designs. The greatest holding capacity comes with larger plastic anchors that can handle the larger screws. If you need gripping strength, regardless of the wall material, go with the more heavily ribbed anchors.
A plastic anchor expands when a screw is installed into it. This puts force against the material it is installed in and holds it in place.
Now, here’s how to use wall anchors. Make a hole in the surface, using a drill or an awl, depending on the material. The hole should be a little bit smaller than the width of the anchor. Then press the anchor into the hold and make sure it is flush with the surface. You may need to use a hammer to tap the anchor flush. Be careful, because if the hole is too small, the anchor may collapse when you tap it in. Plastic expansion anchors are the weakest and should not be used with drywall unless the load is light and the force is perpendicular to the anchor. Skip using a plastic expansion anchor in a ceiling unless what you are hanging is very light.
Here are short descriptions of different types of even more anchors.
Sleeve-Type Hollow Wall Anchors or Molly Bolts
Molly bolts are easy to install but have much greater strength. The largest molly bolt can hold up to 50 lbs. A molly bolt gives permanent screw threads to any material it attaches to. So, if you install something with a molly bolt it can be taken down a number of times and not lose its strength. It adds support to hollow doors for hanging things like towel bars or coat hooks.
Winged Plastic Anchors
Since these are plastic anchors they are much less expensive to manufacture than metal anchors but offer more than double the strength of plastic expansion anchors. These anchors are made entirely from plastic, so you need to be careful when installing them or they can pull through the wall and leave a large hole.
Threaded Drywall Anchors
These are called EZ-Ancor or Zip-It and are large, outside-threaded nuts with a point on the end. The pointed end of the metallic kind spreads open in the wall when a long screw is installed. They are available in both nylon and metal. These anchors hold better in drywall than the plastic expansion anchors. They can be used for light-duty hangings.
Threaded Drywall Toggles
These combine the threaded anchor's ease of installation with the strength of a toggle.
Traditional Toggle Bolts and Snap Toggles
Toggle bolts are some of the best hollow-wall anchors. There is the toggle itself, which looks like a pair of spring-loaded metal wings, and the machine bolt. They are very strong and are great for hanging things from ceilings.
Standard toggles don’t tighten to a precise location. You have to position them as they are tightened. So, once the toggle is almost tight, check the position of the object and then go ahead and fully tighten the toggle. A solution to this problem is to use a toggle in one hole to supply strength and a plastic expansion anchor in the second hole to get the bar into the correct position. Try not to overtighten the toggle in drywall or it might either break the toggle or the wall. Toggles are also the easiest anchors to remove.
The Snap Toggle uses a solid bar, not hinged wings, and keeps the threaded bar's position so you can remove and reinstall the bolt. This toggle is strong and easy to install. It’s a reusable toggle, so it does less damage to your walls.
Knowing the types of expansion and hollow-wall fasteners and how to use wall anchors can save you time and trouble, not to mention damage to your surface material. At Fasteners, Inc. in Denver, we offer a broad assortment of standard and specialized fasteners like anchors and toggle bolts. We have the knowledge and experience, the inventory, and the purchasing power to get you the best fasteners for every project.
July 20, 2017
Get to Know the Various Fastener Materials
At Fasteners, Inc. in Denver, we know that the world couldn’t exist without fasteners. So, let’s get to know the various fastener materials. It’s really amazing how fasteners can do so many different things depending on what they are made out of and their design.
Most people have no idea that fasteners can be made from so many materials, including steel all the way to titanium and plastic. But that’s just the start. Then those materials can be divided into different grades to specify alloy mixtures, hardening processes, and other differences like coatings and platings that enhance corrosion resistance or alter the fastener’s appearance.
Why is the material important to a fastener?
What material the fastener is made out of will affect strength, corrosion resistance, brittleness, galvanized corrosion properties and cost.
Keep in mind, if you need any type of fastener, you should try to match the material that you are replacing. You need to consider the environments, like salt water and galvanic corrosion if you are changing fastener materials. Often trying to replace a bolt with a stronger bolt may jeopardize safety. A harder bolt may be more brittle and could fail in specific applications. Did you know that some equipment is designed so that the bolts will fail to protect the more expensive or critical parts of the equipment?
Now let’s examine what the different fastener materials offer for your project.
DIFFERENT FASTENER MATERIALS
The most common fastener material, steel fasteners can be plain or with various surface treatments such as zinc plating, galvanization, and chrome plating.
Stainless steel is an alloy of low carbon steel and chromium that offers enhanced corrosion protection. Its anti-corrosive properties will not lose its resistance if is scratched during installation or use.
Some people think stainless steel is stronger than regular steel. But it isn’t. In fact, because of the low carbon content, many stainless steel alloys cannot be hardened by heat treatment. So, if you compare stainless steel to regular steel, the stainless alloys often used in bolts will be slightly stronger than an unhardened (grade 2) steel, but they will be significantly weaker than hardened steel fasteners. One of the problems is, unless you are very careful, stainless fasteners can be susceptible to seizing up during the installation process. This is called galling.
Most stainless steel fasteners are much less magnetic than regular steel fasteners while some grades will be slightly magnetic.
If the stainless steel contains approximately 18% chromium and 8% nickel, it is called stainless 18-8. It is the most common stainless designation for hardware.
This is a highly corrosion resistant grade of stainless steel. It works well in salt water and chlorine environments. It is more expensive than 18-8 stainless.
This is a stainless alloy that is harder than 18-8 stainless steel, but it’s less resistant to corrosion.
Steel fasteners are available in grade 2, grade 5, grade 8, and alloy steel and are usually plated with a slightly bluish or yellow zinc coating, or are galvanized to resist corrosion. There are other grades but they are not used very often. The grade is marked on the head of the bolt.
This is a standard hardware grade steel. It is the cheapest and the most common grade of steel fastener. Unless there is a manufacturer's mark, Grade 2 bolts will have no head markings.
Grade 5 / Grade F
These are hardened to increase the strength and are most commonly found in automotive applications. These bolts have three evenly spaced radial lines on the head. Grade F is roughly equivalent to Grade 5 and Grade F nuts are used with Grade 5 bolts.
Grade 8 / Grade G
Grade 8 bolts are more hardened than Grade 5 bolts. This type of fastener is stronger and are used when a more demanding application is needed like in automotive suspensions. Grade 8 bolts have six evenly spaced radial lines on the bolt head. Grade G is pretty much equivalent to Grade 8. Grade G nuts are used with Grade 8 bolts.
This metal is light and soft, but scratches and nicks will not affect its corrosion resistance.
Fasteners can be made from different aluminum alloys, with elements like manganese, silicon, zinc, copper, iron, magnesium, and silicon being added to increase the strength and melting point. Rivets are commonly made from aluminum alloys in the 5000-series, which uses magnesium as the primary alloying element.
These bolts are made from a high strength steel alloy and are heat treated. They are not usually plated, so they have a dull black finish. Alloy steel bolts are very strong but somewhat brittle.
This is an alloy of mostly copper and zinc. Brass is highly resistant to corrosion and electrically conductive. However, it’s relatively soft and so, its use is limited. In fact, it is often used mainly for its appearance.
Silicon bronze or bronze is an alloy made out of copper and tin and a small amount of silicon. This is often used in marine environments, used in wooden boat construction, and re-fastening because it is superior in corrosion resistance and strength. Bronze looks copper in color and is sometimes used for its appearance in fine woodworking. Bronze comes with a higher cost.
MORE OPTIONS, COATINGS
Fasteners can be chrome plated and polished for a nice appearance and have corrosion resistance like zinc plating. Polished chrome costs more. If you need more corrosion resistance, you can chrome plate stainless steel, preventing any corrosion should the chrome be penetrated.
Hot Dip Galvanizing
This also involves an application of a zinc layer, which is the thickest possible coating on a metal. This makes it have superior corrosion resistance. You will need to use galvanized nuts because the thickness of the coating is not compatible with other nuts. Galvanized nuts are tapped slightly larger than other nuts to accommodate this thicker coating. These fasteners are used outdoors, especially in coastal environments.
Steel fasteners can be electroplated with zinc for improved corrosion resistance but they will rust if the coating is destroyed or exposed to a marine environment. The fasteners have a shiny silver (clear) or golden (yellow zinc) appearance.
As you get to know the various fastener materials, keep us in mind. We are Fasteners, Inc in Denver. We are an industrial distributor for the Huck Fastening System, including Magna-Grip, Magna-Bulb, Magna-Lok, C6L, C50L, BOM, Huck Automatic Rivets and Huck Industrial Tooling. Our extensive inventory is available for prompt delivery or shipment of materials, ranging from aluminum to stainless to heat-treated steel and almost everything in between.