Bolts and screws are integral components found in countless applications. Whether you are working on shelving or a large construction project, bolts and screws are the most commonly used fasteners for such tasks. While bolts and screws may look similar, they each have distinguishing characteristics that set them apart.
To begin, it is important to understand the fundamental roles of bolts and screws. While bolts are utilized to assemble unthreaded objects, screws are used to assemble objects with threads. That being said, we will provide a brief overview of each, their differences, advantages, and when you should use one over the other.
In particular, bolts are defined as externally threaded fasteners that are used to position and hold two or more components together. Typically used for heavy-duty applications, bolts must be used alongside washers or nuts. Moreover, bolts are equipped with screw threads across the length of their cylindrical body.
The nut itself has internal threads, and a washer is used to prevent loosening and crushing. When compared to screws and other fasteners, bolts offer enhanced strength and increased holding power. To install them, nuts secure the bolt in place while the washer aids in distributing the load over a larger surface area, reducing wear and tear over time. To remove bolts, a handheld or pneumatic wrench must be employed. Keep in mind that bolts are easier to remove as compared to screws.
There are a wide range of bolt types, some of which we will cover in this blog. The first is an anchor bolt which is designed to attach structural components to a concrete slab with the use of an electric drilling tool. Blind bolts are the next type, those of which are utilized in applications that do not offer access to both sides of the bolt for tightening purposes. The last type is a u-bolt which contains a threaded portion on each end of its body, allowing a mounting plate to be placed.
Bolts offer many advantages, some of which include having extended service lives, easy installation, and corrosion-resistant characteristics. More than that, they do not need heat treatment and are cost-effective. With this in mind, the next section will cover screws to better understand their use, importance, and advantages.
As screws are singular components that do not need additional assistance from nuts or washers, they are the go-to choice for most operations. Due to their threads, they provide a secure grip. Usually inserted into a tapped hole, screws can be tightened with a screwdriver that matches their head.
Screws are designed to be self-tapping components, though a pilot hole may still be needed in some cases. However, if you drill all your pilot holes at once, you can easily insert all your screws without having to change your drill bit as often. They are especially useful for lifting heavy objects and making secure connections.
Similar to bolts, screws are available in a variety of sizes and types, those of which are intended for wood, metal, concrete, and drywall applications.
The first type is a wood screw which is used to connect two or more solid wooden objects. For woodworking applications, they are equipped with a sharp point that can dig into the wood with ease. Next, machine screws, as their name suggests, are used in machining applications. Used to hold heavy-duty metal objects together, machine screws have a diameter up to 0.75 inches. Lastly, lag screws are essentially jumbo-sized wood screws that are coated with zinc. The zinc layer protects them from corrosion and rust.
Screws also offer many advantages, some of which include enhanced resistance to loosening, increased strength, and are easy to remove. Additionally, they have the ability to prevent moisture, are resistant to rust, and can be used in many applications. Nonetheless, screws and bolts are not everlasting components and may need to be replaced with time.
If you find yourself in need of bolts, screws, screw cap bearings, bolt connector rods, or other related fastener parts, rely on Aerospace Aviation 360.
Aerospace Aviation 360 is an online distributor of electronic parts, fasteners, bearings, connectors, NSN products, and more. With over 2 billion items on our digital database, sourcing has never been easier. Kickoff the procurement process with a competitive quote and see how Aerospace Aviation 360 can serve as your strategic sourcing partner.
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