Belleville Washers made by Phoenix Specialty Mfg Co. Bamberg, SC
June 30, 2014
What Are Metal Shims Used For?
July 3, 2014

Can You Use a Washer as a Spacer?

A washer is a part that is used often and is very important, even though it is small. A washer has many uses, but some people still use this part improperly because they do not understand it as much as they should. One question that we get often is whether a washer can be used as a spacer. In order to understand the answer to this question, you must understand what the uses for a washer are, and what can or cannot be used as a spacer.

 

The Many Uses of a Washer

The main purpose of a washer is to distribute the load of a fastener. The fasteners that a washer is most commonly used with are screws and nuts, or threaded fasteners. When a washer is used, it puts less pressure of the weight on the fastener so that it can support whatever weight it is holding. If the washer is not used, the fastener could fail.

A washer can also be used as a wear pad. When it is used as a wear pad, it stops two parts from wearing down when they rub up against each other. The washer is a cheap part that takes the wear and tear while it protects the expensive parts. The washer can easily be replaced when it has been worn down. A rubber washer can be used to reduce vibration and is often used in something with a motor that could have a lot of vibration in its parts.

Some other uses of the washer can be as a locking device, as a pre-load indicating device, and as a spring. In some unique cases, it can be used as a spacer.

What to Use as a Spacer

Washers have been used as spacers in the past because they can get the job done. Most people only use washers as a temporary spacer until they can replace it with a more permanent, appropriate part. If you need a spacer right away, you can use the washer and then get a different spacer to replace it. Some machines may call for a washer to be used as the spacer. If you do this, be sure to use the right type of washer and make sure that you know it will work.

In most cases, it is more appropriate to use a shim as a spacer, because that is the primary responsibility of a shim. A shim can be any size, shape, or material that is necessary to be the best spacer possible. The type of spacer that you use is very important to keeping your machine efficient, to stop wear from happening prematurely, and to ensure that the machine works properly. If you need help figuring out what to use as a spacer for your purposes, you can talk to someone at Phoenix Specialty Manufacturing. We specialize in making washers and shims, so our professionals can give you great advice and provide you with the part you need to do the job.

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