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Nothing delivers flexibility and weight distribution against forces to fasteners as equally as washers do. While washers may come in a diverse variety of sizes and flexible ring formations, they are not to be confused with circular gaskets found in faucets or valves. Typically characterized as a thin and circular plate or piece of material with a hole bored in its center, washers can be categorized into three primary types: plain washers, spring washers, and locking washers. Being a prolific piece of equipment, these tools are commonly found in local hardware stores and are specifically made to be used in tandem with either a screw, bolt, or the like. Also being a necessity for nearly all construction projects when dealing with tightening nuts, bolts, screws, and a myriad of other nut-bolt assemblies, washers are almost always applied to serve numerous critical roles. To better understand the different types of washers and how they work, we will go over how to discern common types and why each is important for their own nut-bolt pairings.
Although simple in shape and design, plain washers and their incomplex forms are not to be overlooked. Ranging from acting as a spacer or tension holder for fasteners, these components are capable of mitigating leaks, preventing corrosion, reducing friction, and distributing force evenly throughout fastener assemblies.
With the first vocalized origins of washers stemming from 1346, a written definition for such parts did not make an appearance until 1611. Evolving throughout the centuries to form variations of what we now know as ‘plain washers,’ these items and their subclassifications can be grouped into different categories of flat washers, fender washers, torque washers, C-washers, and finishing washers. Eventually making its debut and becoming a renowned tool, modernized versions of plain washers can also often be made from the following materials: galvanized carbon steel, stainless steel, zinc, copper, brass, and iron. For specialty cases, these materials can be supplemented for plastic, rubber, ceramic, or phenolic types. Of all the available washer options, flat washers made from carbon steel or stainless steel are the most prominent and optimal choice for support.
Spring washers, unlike plain washers, were developed with the need for part flexibility in mind. Consisting of belleville, crescent spring, dome spring, finger spring, and wave spring types, each of these washers has a specific application for dampening, cushioning, and absorbing movement, heat, noise, and vibrations. Constructed with axial flexibility, these washers are best used for equipment experiencing frequent vibrational stress.
As compared to spring or plain washers, spring washers can be found as split lock, external tooth lock, and internal lock washer types. Matched with a fastener, a lock washer helps to secure regular, wide-headed, or shallow-headed fasteners that are easily capable of rotating in place. Identifiable by the placement of their teeth, washers of this specification can either have teeth along their internal or external threading.
Usually small and easily misplaced, even in the most secure of toolboxes, washers seem to disappear when you need them the most. Though coming in a variety of shapes and sizes, not every washer can fit the same assembly, and it is imperative to know which to use with any intended application. When you are in need of a particular washer for your assemblies, look no further than ASAP Aero Supplies. We are your trusted source for various lock washers, tab washers, spring washers, C-washers, flat washers, dome spring washers, and more. Due to our quality control and export compliance, we operate with AS9120B, ISO 9001:2015, and FAA AC 00-56B certification and accreditation. If you would like to request a quote for your comparisons, you can submit an RFQ form as provided on our website. Upon receipt, a dedicated account manager will quickly review and respond with a personalized solution to your needs in just 15 minutes or less, 24/7x365.
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