Guide to Construction Fasteners
Fasteners are used in the construction industry to join two or more objects together in a non-permanent way. The three main types of fasteners used in industries are stainless steel, carbon steel, and alloy steel. Each construction project will require a different type of fastener in order to ensure a strong and a safe final construction. Although other objects may be used to fasten two materials together, such as chains or cables, these items are typically not considered construction fasteners as they also perform other functions in different scenarios.
How to determine what type of fastener you need:
Different projects will demand different types of fasteners. Washers, bolts, and wedges are all used in different circumstances with unique finishes for specific projects. In order to determine the specific fastener needed, the specifics of the application must be known to select the correct material. These factors include:
Accessibility of the area
What type of materials are being joined
Reusability of the fasteners
Weight of the materials
Surrounding environment, such as temperature and exposure to water and wind.
Types of Construction Fasteners
Anchors: An anchor is a specific type of fastener used to attach material to concrete. Although there are many types of anchors, all consist of a threaded end that can be attached to a nut and washer.
Studs: A stud contains no head, and simply acts as a threaded rod onto which nuts can be attached.
Bolts: Designed to be used as a fastener placed through an already drilled hole in a material, bolts require a nut to tighten it at the other end and are headed fasteners with uniform threads.
Nuts: A nut is used to receive a bolt or threaded rod into its threaded hole center.
Screws: A distinguishing feature of screws is that they do not require the use of a nut. Instead, a screw contains a provision on one end to turn the screw and has a helical thread on its surface in order to pierce strongly into the material.
Washers: Used to distribute the weight of a threaded fastener, washers are thin plates with a hole that can also be used as spacers, springs, wear pads, and locking devices.
Construction Fastener Material
Many fasteners are manufactured using carbon steel, as the material offers great workability along with strength and affordability.
Stainless Steel Fasteners:
Stainless steel serves as a great material for construction fasteners due to its ability to resist corrosion and heat, and its strength. The material can also be chemically modified to meet the needs of different projects. 330 Stainless Steel is an austenitic, nickel-chromium-iron-silicon alloy that is extremely resistant to oxidation and carburization up to 2200°F with high strength. 330 Stainless steel’s resistance to oxidation and carburization is a product of its high nickel, chromium and silicon content. Due to the high chromium and nickel in the alloy it is very resistant to corrosion and scaling at temperatures up to 2000 degrees fahrenheit.
Aluminum makes a great material for construction fasteners as its weight to strength ratio exceeds many other materials. Some other great properties of aluminum include being non-magnetic, having electrical and thermal conductivity, and easily hot and cold forged.
Brass is the most common copper-based alloy that is generally affordable, stronger, and ductile. 360 Brass, known for its strength and resistance to corrosion with properties closely resembling that of steel, is one of the most popular copper alloys used today. Although ductile in its softened state, 360 Brass is a strong material to work with and maintains its strength even under some of the most demanding conditions.
Silicon Bronze Fasteners:
The silicon bronzes are the most popular of the basic bronze families. These alloys have good strength and toughness. Coupled with their corrosion resistance and non-magnetic properties, these alloys are ideally suited for naval construction, particularly minesweepers. Cold formed silicon bronze fasteners should be stress relieved to reduce the risk of stress corrosion failure.