When doing any type of fastener assembly work, there three key elements to completing the project: proper spacing of the hardware, even distribution of the load across the hardware and preventing wear and tear over time. The flat washer is the one piece of hardware that can ensure all three of these elements are present. The washer is the piece of hardware that goes between a nut and bolt. Washers come in a wide range of sizes to accommodate both large and small scale projects. They are also made out of a wide variety of materials to accommodate a large range of project types.
Three of the most common metals for washers to be made from are aluminum, copper and stainless steel. When choosing hardware for a project it is a good idea to use the same type of metal for all the fastening equipment. If the bolt and nut are stainless steel, then go with a stainless steel washer, for example. Choosing the same type of metal prevents different expansion and contraction between the components. This cuts down greatly on the amount of stress that is put on the connection.
There are also washers made out of non-metallic materials such as plastic, nylon and rubber. One of the main reasons that non-metallic washers are being used more is that they actually can outlast metal washers at a rate of twenty to one. These washers also have a significant noise reduction when compared to metal washers. Depending on the project, noise reduction could be a huge benefit. The non-metallic washers will also not rust over time. Even stainless steel can rust in certain environments over time, but this isn’t possible with the non-metallic counterparts. These washers are also lighter, cheaper and often provide a better seal on connections when they are put under pressure.
Washers provide spacing, distribution of the load and they help to prevent wear and tear on connections over time. They come in a variety of sizes and can be made from several different materials. No matter the project, there is a washer that will be the perfect fit.