As fasteners are a common product, it can be easy to assume material-type doesn’t matter, but this not correct.
When choosing a fastener for a project, it’s important to know what type of material you will need as various materials will differ in strength, brittleness, corrosion resistance, galvanic corrosion properties, and cost. Some materials also offer a variety of platings or coatings that enhance corrosion resistance and alter appearance.
You also have to know what type of material you will need in the case of replacement. Matching the component that you’re replacing with its coordinating material will ensure that your equipment doesn’t become damaged or more brittle—a factor that can often happen when you replace an item of a different material.
The environment you’re working in can also lead to issues in material quality and strength. Salt water can lead to galvanic corrosion, so it’s important to make sure whatever material you use, it works for the project, environment, and replacement.
Now that you know the importance of choosing the right material, let’s take a look at the best fastener materials to use with metal.
As one of the most common type of fastener material, stainless steel is popular for its anti-corrosive and scratch resistance properties. This alloy of low carbon steel is not stronger than regular steel and can’t be hardened through heat—a common misconception.
Here are a few different types of stainless-steel fasteners:
- 18-8 Stainless Steel Fasteners - A stainless steel that contained approximately 18% chromium and 8% nickel and is the most commonly used in hardware.
- Stainless Steel 316 Fasteners - This stainless steel is highly corrosive and is ideal in salt water and chlorine environments.
- Stainless Steel 410 Fasteners - This stainless steel is harder than 18-8, but is not as resistant to corrosion.
Another common type of fastener material is steel. Steel offers various surface treatments including galvanization, zinc, and chrome plating. This material is available in four grades:
- Grade 2- This standard grade steel is the most common and least expensive steel fastener.
- Grade 5- This grade is the most common bolt found in automotive applications.
- Grade 8- A stronger grade than 5, these are used in automotive suspensions as well as other demanding applications.
- Alloy Steel- These are heat treated and made of high strength steel alloy. Typically, not plated, alloy steel is strong, but brittle.
An alloy made of copper, tin, and a small amount of silicon, this material is typically used in marine environments. Due to its corrosion resistance, it’s preferred over stainless steel in boat construction. One of the drawbacks to silicon bronze is that it is an expensive material.
Brass is a soft alloy made of copper and zinc and is mainly used for its appearance and not material. It is highly corrosive-resistant and electrically conductive, but is limited due to its soft material.
Aluminum is a corrosive resistant material made of aluminum alloys that include:
These aluminum alloys increase strength and melting point.
Choose a Fastener You Can Rely On
Contact us today to get started!