Meet the 5 Most Popular Metal Washers


5 Popular Metal Washers

Metal washers are a staple among manufacturers. With the ability to perform quite a few different roles and functions, this seemingly simple piece of metal could be the spokesperson for functionality trumping looks. While not all washers are made the same or actually function the same, each has its own specific purpose. You can learn about five of the most popular metal washers on the market and see how your life can be enriched by this often overlooked piece of metal.

Lock Washer

This superstar is constructing with the intent of keeping the bolt and/or nut from coming loose. Sub-types of these washers are star type, split-ring type, and wave, as well as many other designs. They are often used where the part of the assembly could most likely turn, such as the nut. As a layperson, you would probably find yourself using a lock washer around 4:00 am on Christmas Day as you struggle to complete the swing set Santa foolishly bought for your children.

Tab Washer

Often touted as being the most flexible of washers, while still being the strong, immovable type, a tab washer is constructed with a single or multiple tabs and notches that can be bent to secure the washer into place. Because they are able to bend around and lock into place, these washers are ideal for usage where extreme heat conditions and/or heavy vibrations can occur. Watch out though, and don’t try to bend a tab that has already been bent before, because it can weaken the hold of the washer and compromise your assembly. In all practicality, tab washers will be your best friend when you are rebuilding your boat engine the night before a big fishing trip.

Flat Washer

Often accused of being the most unexciting of the group, a flat washer will be the dependable, versatile washer for many situations. Simply put, a flat washer has one job and that is to distribute the load of the screw or bolt to prevent unnecessary loosening when that bolt or screw is exposed to vibrations or extreme heat conditions. When you purchase that new desk from IKEA, don’t think it an unnecessary step to pair the washer with the screw; the people who write the instructions know what they are talking about.

Beveled Washer

A washer with a lot of curves, a beveled washer is not like its flat counterparts. Oftentimes, a bolt or screw is supposed to be affixed to a nonflat surface (think back to putting the swing set together) and a beveled washer is the solution. Curved instead of flat, this washer can lay flush with the curved surface found in the assembly. If the beveled face of the washer is installed facing the head of the bolt, it helps minimize the stress on that portion of the fastener. When the beveled face is installed away from the head of the bolt, it helps spread the weight of the force across the entire structure.

Special-Order Washers

Last but certainly not least, are special-order washers. Phoenix Specialty Manufacturing does indeed work with you to create specially designed washers to fit your specific needs. One size does not necessarily fit all, which is why we offer options for custom orders.

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