Mechanical parts called “fasteners” assist in affixing items together securely. These components, which include bolts, screws, rivets, clasps, buttons, and other fastening systems occur today in a multitude of forms. Manufacturers sometimes purchase fasteners by choosing products with dimensions suited to their brands. However, many manufacturers obtain bespoke or custom fasteners designed for the sole purpose of securing specific designated parts together.
Traditionally, manufacturers describe mechanical metal coupled fasteners as “male” and “female”. This terminology (which obviously does not refer to gender in this context) promotes easier assembly by preventing confusion. Female parts contain holes or receptacles, while opposite male parts often include threads, ribs, or projections. Manufacturers can more easily refer to paired components because the use of the female or male descriptors implies a two-part fastening system consisting of separate yet distinct sections which help secure an object by acting in unison.
One popular type of mechanical fastener, a bolt, bears strong similarities to a rivet yet frequently contains a ribbed shaft designed to hold a female nut. Many modern manufacturers don’t draw a firm distinction between bolts and screws anymore, although the former typically contain ribs, not threads, and should include a nut or other female component and not function as a single fastening device. The proximal end of the bolt (which generally contains a square, circular, or hexagonal head) strongly resembles a rivet. Bolt-and-nut fastening systems achieved popularity because manufacturers can tighten them in place from the distal end after inserting them through two compatibly-sized drilled apertures.
Today bolts often join items made from rock, metal, wood, concrete, plastic, or other materials. Bolts differ from screws because a screw’s exterior male threads frequently (but not always) extends along the entire body of the part. The thread tapers into a point at the distal end designed to penetrate into the surface of a joined material (frequently wood). By contrast, most bolts require nuts in order to fasten securely, they don’t self-thread.
Inventors have designed an impressive variety of bolts and nuts. Many perform specialized tasks, and some play no role in mechanical assemblies. Some of the most popular bolts include:
Rock Bolt: A strong bolt designed to help attach supports to retaining walls or tunnels.
Anchor Bolt: This bolt enables builders to embed items in concrete.
U-Bolt: Formed in the shape of a rounded or squared “U”, this bolt displays two exteriorly ribbed male projections, held within a loose metal plate. They accept two female nuts to secure the plate tightly against an item passing between the metal plate and the curved bolt. This type of bolt often helps affix a pipe within an assembly.
Carriage Bolt: This round-headed bolt contains a square proximal shaft intended to prevent it from twisting out of position during use.
Ribbed Bolt: A bolt intended to resist loosening during vibration, it possesses a fully ribbed shaft which slightly exceeds aperture diameters. It taps into place much like a rivet.
Hex Bolt: This bolt usually displays a thick hexagonal head. In large dimensions, it reportedly sometimes helps fasten components used in infrastructure projects (including highway and bridge components). Smaller hex bolts typically help secure parts within mechanical assemblies.
Eye Bolt: This bolt contains a head which forms a complete or nearly complete circle. Manufacturers can thread a rope, cord, cable, or chain through this “eye” in order to help maintain it within position inside an assembly.
Lag Bolt: A cross between a bolt and a screw, the bolt displays exterior male threading along its entire body; the distal tip ends in a tapered point like a wood screw.
Socket Screw Bolt: A bolt containing a head displaying an hexagonal depression. Assemblers can use a wrench-like tool fitting the depression to help disassemble this bolt during maintenance procedures.
Elevator Bolt: With a thick, prominent round head and a long neck in its shaft, this bolt often serve as a fastening component within conveyor belt assemblies.
Manufacturers have created an impressive variety of bolts. Both bolt materials and common applications for bolts in industrial settings reflect the importance of this popular type of fastener:
Approximately 90% of bolts rely upon steel or stainless steel as a raw material. In some cases, manufacturers have created decorative bronze bolts. Other materials sometimes used in bolts intended for specialized purposes include plastic, iron and titanium.
Bolts and nuts enjoy a multitude of applications as fasteners. They occur widely within industrial and transportation mechanical assemblies. Companies engaged in construction, consumer goods manufacturing, agriculture, and other economic sectors also use these fasteners.
BuntyLLC assists customers seeking to design and produce prototypes. We also help customers develop custom OEM metal parts for their brands. Three important category of bolts interest many enterprises today:
Custom Bolt: Manufacturers may design a bespoke or custom bolt to fit a specific mechanical part.
Custom OEM Bolt: In some situations, manufacturers invest in the creation of custom bolts intended for use only within a specific brand of products owned by the manufacturer or its partners. These proprietary original equipment manufacturer bolts enable brand owners to replace lost or damaged bolts dependably during a repair procedure. Repair technicians and customers gain the assurance of knowing a custom OEM bolt intended for a specific model will fit that model with precision during a replacement procedure.
Machined Bolt: Sometimes a manufacturer machines metal work pieces to help create bolts within desired parameters.
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