Flat washers, shoulder washers, recessed washers, finishing washers, key washers, lock washers, split washers, and more…
With so many different kind of washers, it can get confusing to know which you need. Aircraft washers are typically used to bear the load of a threaded fastener, often a screw or a nut.
Flat washers are usually made out of plastic or metal. They are also used as a spacer, spring, a wear pad, locking device, to reduce vibration, and as a preload indicating device. The outer diameter of washers is twice the inner diameter. Rubber and fiber gaskets are commonly referred to as washer, but their function is completely differ. Gaskets are used to stop the flow of water in taps. They look similar to washers but have a different design and are made differently. Washers are also used for preventing galvanic corrosion.
The word “washer” to refer to these devices has been used as early as the 1300’s. There are three types of washers: plain washers, spring washers and locking washers. Plain washers spread a load while preventing damage and causing a surface to be fixed. Spring washers are used to stop the fastening from getting loose during vibrations, and locking washers prevent an unnecessary screwing rotation that causes unfastening.
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There are standards for the general use of flat washers provided by the American National Standards Institute. There are different types ranging from Type A to Type E. Washers are made out of a variety of materials including aluminum, steel, brass, corrosion resistant steel, and plastic. Plain washers are divided into the following categories: plain washers, fender washers, penny washers, spherical washers, anchor plate, shoulder washer, flange nut, and torque washer. A shoulder washer is used to insulate a screw, rivet, or wire from an assembly, or it can be inserted into a housing in order to provide a thrust bearing surface. Plain washers are just flat rings that are used to spread the load a screwed fastening or when the hole has a wider diameter than the fixing nut. Fender washers have a larger outer diameter and are used to spread the load in thinner sheet metal. Penny washers have a large outer diameter and is the size of the old British penny. They are used the same as fender washers.
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Spherical washers are a part of a self-aligning nut. They only have one surface with a radius and is supposed to be used with a mating nut. An anchor plate is connected to a tie rod or bolt. They can be used on the walls of masonry buildings to reinforce the structure. Since they are visible they are made in a decorative style. Flange nuts are nuts with an integral fixed washer. Torque washers are used in woodworking with carriage bolts. They have square holes in the center in which the carriage bolts fit. There are also other types of washers, such as split washers or spring lock washers, curved disc springs, toothed lock washers and serrated washers. Spring locked washers are rings that are split and bent into a helical shape. Gaskets are also commonly referred to as washers despite their different functions. These include crush washers and shoulder washers.
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