Why Washers Go with Fasteners

Posted by Brett McCutcheon on Feb 3, 2020 2:52:36 PM

Washers and Fasteners

Washers, for those that don’t know, are the circular metal pieces that fit between a screw or bolt and the object it is going to be driven into. They can be made of a variety of materials including metal and plastic. They also come in many different shapes and sizes. Unlike a screw or bolt, a washer isn’t driven into any material which has caused some confusion about what they do. Washers, like those from ET&F® Fastening Systems, a BECK brand, have a variety of uses. Each of these uses is designed to extend the longevity and stability of your construction project.

Load Distribution

Using a construction fastener can help disperse the load when attaching objects. Loads can become very high on the end of a screw or bolt, using a wide washer can distribute that load over the surface of the material and prevent either damage to the material or the screw failing over time.

Vibration Absorption

If your structure is liable to experience movement, for example if you are located next to a construction site, adding a washer can help reduce damage from vibrations. Washers can absorb vibration, which not only prevents damage to materials, but also lengthens the lifespan of the screw or bolt. 

Liquid Proofing

Certain washers, called sealing washers, can be used to prevent leaks when used in wet applications. Most screws and bolts do not form a liquid-tight barrier after they have been drilled in. A sealing washer can conform to the material and the head of the bolt or screw in order to add an extra layer of leak resistance. 

Electrical Hazards

This is where the two different types of washers come into play. 

Metallic washers are a solid choice for most applications. They are typically stronger than their plastic counterparts and hold up to more extreme loads and stress. So why would you need a plastic washer?

Plastic washers are used in electrical applications in order to prevent a current from passing through materials. Electricians and construction crews typically carry plastic washers when they will be drilling near electrical currents that will later become active. 

Plastic screws can also help prevent material corrosion as they do not react with most metals. 

Trust BECK with Your Fastening Needs

ET&F® Fastening Systems, a BECK brand, offer both galvanized steel and plastic washers for application on both hard and soft material installation. Check out the ET&F® Fastening Systems website to learn more.

Topics: fasteners

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