the importance of using washers

Importance of Using Washers

When using a fastener such as a bolt or screw, it may be in your best interest to utilise a washer to provide additional strength and structure to the project you’re working on. As any industry professional will tell you, these additions are often overlooked and structures can be seriously negatively affected by lack of use. 

Here at RCF Bolt & Nut, we are professional fastener suppliers and manufacturers who have been offering a range of fastening solutions to our customers in the UK for many years now, and we have seen the positive impact the use of washers can have on any project. Our qualified team has put together this guide to help you understand why washers are important to add strength and stability to your project. 

What are Washers?

Washers are small, disc-shaped pieces that are used in conjunction with fasteners, such as screws or bolts. They come in a variety of materials, including metal, plastic, and rubber, and are available in different sizes and thicknesses to suit different applications.

Each material offers different properties such as strength, corrosion resistance, chemical resistance, flexibility and more. The material and size of the washer will depend on the application, the properties of the material that the fastener is being used to attach, and the size and strength of the fastener. Keep reading below to find out more about why washers are used!

The Importance of Surface Area

One of the main reasons for using washers with fasteners is to prevent the fastener from pulling through the material it is being used to attach. This is because washers increase the surface area over which the fastener is distributed, which reduces the stress on any one point. This is particularly important when fastening into soft or brittle materials, such as wood or plastic, as these materials can easily crack or split under the pressure of a fastener.

Providing a Smooth Surface

Another important use of washers is to provide a smooth and even surface for the fastener to grip onto. This can help to prevent the fastener from becoming loose over time or from being difficult to tighten in the first place. Additionally, washers can also help to distribute the force of the fastener more evenly, which can help to prevent damage to the material being fastened.

Cushioning Effect

Washers also have a cushioning effect between the fastener and the material it is being used to attach. This can help to reduce noise and vibration, and to protect the fastener from damage. This is particularly useful in applications such as machinery or appliances where vibration or noise can be a problem.

Sealing Effect

In addition to their structural function, washers also play a vital role in preventing leakage of fluids or gases. In plumbing and piping systems, washers are used to seal joints and prevent leaks, and in many other applications, they are used to keep oils, liquids, and gases from escaping around the fasteners. This is particularly important in applications such as automotive, aerospace or industrial systems, where even small leaks can have serious consequences.

Different Types of Washers

Like there are many different types of fasteners, there are many different types of washers available, each designed for specific applications. Some common types include:

  • Flat washers, which are the most basic type of washer and are used to distribute the load of a fastener over a larger area.
  • Lock washers, which have teeth or a protrusion on one side that digs into the material being fastened to help prevent the fastener from coming loose.
  • Spring washers, which are designed to compress and provide a pre-load to the fastener, helping to maintain the clamping force over time.
  • Fender washers, which are larger and have a greater surface area than standard flat washers and are used for applications where a larger bearing surface is needed.
  • Shakeproof washers, which have a unique design that helps to prevent the fastener from coming loose due to vibration.

For more information, please get in touch with us now!

At RCF Bolt & Nut, we understand the importance of customer satisfaction and we are dedicated to providing the highest level of service. We pride ourselves on our vast selection of fasteners, knowledgeable staff and our commitment to quality. Whether you are a professional contractor, a DIY enthusiast or a business owner, we are here to help you find the right fasteners for your project.

If you have any questions or concerns about our products or services, please don’t hesitate to contact our team now! We are always happy to hear from our customers and we are dedicated to providing you with the information and support you need to make an informed decision.