Fasteners are hardware components that are found in countless assemblies, allowing for objects to be connected in a permanent or temporary fashion. Ranging in use from the assembly of furniture to the construction of large aircraft, fasteners can come in countless types, shapes, and sizes to accommodate a number of needs. Bolts and screws are two popularly used fastener types, both often being confused for one another due to their similar appearance and characteristics. Nevertheless, there are important distinctions that set the two apart, especially in how they are used. In this blog, we will discuss the difference between bolts and screws, as well as how nuts are implemented alongside such components, allowing you to better understand the roles that each plays.
Bolts are threaded fasteners, meaning that they feature external threading along the length of their shaft. When one wishes to combine two objects where pre-established holes are aligned, bolts are the best choice for their holding strength. Bolts are unable to be used by themselves to fasten objects together, requiring the use of washer and nut components. Nuts will often feature internal threading on their center hole, allowing them to be tightened to the end of a bolt shaft to compress objects between the nut and bolt head. Depending on one’s needs, there are a few common types of bolts that one may choose from, each exhibiting varying features and capabilities to accommodate certain needs. Generally, the most common types of bolts that one will work with include anchor bolts, carriage bolts, hex bolts, round head bolts, and U-bolts.
As previously mentioned, nuts are fasteners with a threaded hole. While commonly paired with bolts, they can also be installed on a screw or stud as long as the shaft size and threading matches the component. For installation, the externally threaded fastener will be passed through the holes of components first, and then the nut is added to the other side. Like other fasteners, nuts come in many types, including lock nut, flange nut, coupling nut, hex nut, and wheel nut variations.
Screws are externally threaded like bolts, typically differing from such components in the fact that their tail-end is often pointed rather than flat. This allows for a different method of installation, the screw boring and digging its way into the surface of a material when turned to establish its own threading and hole. As a result of this method of installation, many screws do not require the use of a bolt, nor do they need a pre-established hole. Nevertheless, there are some screws that have a very similar appearance to bolts, albeit exhibiting a fully threaded shaft instead of a partially-threaded one. Depending on one’s needs, there are many screws that one can take advantage of, the most common ones being wood screws, lag screws, twinfast screws, and security screws.
As bolts and screws follow different forms of installation, it is important that one takes care in selecting the parts that they need for their particular operations. Once you have narrowed down the exact parts and components that you require, let the experts at Aerospace Aviation 360 help you secure everything with competitive pricing and rapid lead-times. With our online RFQ service, customers can rapidly request quotes for their comparisons, and responses are always given within 15 minutes of receiving a completed form. With AS9120B, ISO 9001:2015, and FAA AC 00-56B certification and accreditation, customers can trust in the quality of the parts that they purchase from us every time. Get started on the purchasing process today and see how Aerospace Aviation can serve as your strategic sourcing partner for all your operational needs.