While there are various criteria that define what would be considered a fastener, the technical definition is hard to narrow down. In simplistic terms, a fastener is a mechanical component utilized to join two or more machine elements together, and it is generally slender in nature. Moreover, fasteners come in a wide range of forms, configurations, and sizes, and they can be designed from a variety of materials including metals, plastics, and composites. In this blog, we will cover a few of the most common types of fasteners, their uses, and unique features, allowing you to better understand the complexity of these components.
A socket head cap screw with a hole is a machine screw that has a thick flanged head called a “cap.” They are designed to fit into mating machine threads, and they possess a recessed drive slot on the top of the cap. The most common drive type has a hexagonal profile that makes it compatible with a hexagonal drive tool. Furthermore, socket head cap screws feature a through-hole on the side of the cap head that is intended to accept a metallic wire which is twisted and welded together to prevent intentional unfastening of the joint.
An ultra-low head cap screw is considered a modified version of a typical socket head cap screw. The feature that differentiates this screw type from its counterparts is that the head profile has a short, flat configuration similar to a washer. Like other machine screws, ultra-low head cap screws are made to fit into mating internal thread profiles. To accommodate flat head profiles, the hexagonal head drive slot is recessed into the screw. As such, ultra-low head cap screws are manufactured to fit into applications that have limited space and accessibility to the joint.
Button head cap screws are another variant of socket head cap screws, and they share similarities in terms of shape, form, and function to the aforementioned fastener types. However, button head cap screws feature a rounded, button-like head profile, and they have unique drive head slots that can only be accessed by a special drive head and cannot be unfastened with a simple screwdriver. That being said, the joint they create is often tamper-proof.
Hex bolts have flat, hexagonal heads that are driven by a wrench on the head side and can be fastened by a nut on the underside. They can achieve incredible clamping forces to ensure that joints that are subjected to high mechanical loads are fastened securely. More than that, they are popularly used through all types of machine designs in traditional drive systems.
Cross recessed flat head machine screws are essentially ordinary machine screws with cross-drive heads which can be driven/accessed by conventional screwdriver heads like the Phillip’s head driver. Like other machine screws, cross recessed flat head machine screws are designed to fit into specific mating internal thread profiles.
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