Fasteners are hardware devices that are used to mechanically join or affix two or more objects together. The bond can be permanent or temporary. The application of fasteners can be home based or in industries. There is a vast variety of fasteners available today with varying applications. Some examples of fasteners used in industrial applications include bolts, rivets, pipe plugs, pins, clinch studs and anchors whereas example of fasteners for home use include zippers, buttons, pins and hooks. Some of these fasteners may be used in both, industrial and home applications. The use of these devices is very important as they hold parts and components together. For example, in machinery, fasteners are used to bind separate parts together. If they are not used properly, it could result in the failure of the machine which may prove to be disastrous in some cases.
We would all have encountered at least one of the most commonly used fasteners which include safety pins, clips, buttons or zippers. New types of fasteners are constantly being invented to match the different needs of people. The fasteners used in a car would not be the same as those used on ships or airplane. Also, the material used to make them varies depending on the application. For example, very strong iron fasteners would be used to bind objects that would be put under great amounts of stress. However, these have some disadvantages. They cannot be used on ships as they are bound to corrode when in contact with salt water. Therefore, a more economical and advantageous alternative to these can be stainless steel fasteners.
As mentioned earlier in this article, the bonds made by fasteners can be permanent or non-permanent. The need for non-permanent bonds arises when fasteners need to be removed for the object to be dismantled without damaging it. Such fasteners include bolts and nuts and threaded fasteners amongst many others. Screws have the simplest mechanism. They are a piece of metal that have an incised thread and slotted head. They are inserted into a hole which runs through both objects to be bonded and are tightened by simply turning the head. A bolt makes use of a nut to be secured on the opposite side when it is run through a hole to secure the bond as it does not have threads on it.
There are many factors that affect how one chooses which fastener to use for the various applications. Some factors that can be considered are environmental; temperature of the place where the fastener would be used in, is it a corrosive environment, types of forces on fastener; tensile, compression or shear, requirements of the fastener; frequent assembly and disassembly and most importantly the cost of the fastener being used.
Uses of fasteners are evident in everyday life. It’s just that we tend to ignore their presence as it’s so vast. They help to ensure that components are held in place and can function properly.