Choosing the correct fastener size and material


When choosing a fastener for your application, it is critical to consider both the material and size of the fastener to ensure a sturdy and long-lasting result. In many circumstances, a joint will be subjected to extremes of temperature, vibration, pressure, and shock, so do not underestimate the complexity of selecting the proper size and material.


The objective is to select a fastener that creates a clamping force that prevents the clamped pieces from separating or moving when external forces are applied. A frequent error is to oversize the fastener, which results in a joint with a low clamp load, a high failure rate, and trouble tightening.


When determining the appropriate size for your application, follow these steps:

  • Determine your load case.

  • Calculate the clamping force required for the joint.

  • Select the smallest bolt diameter capable of withstanding the clamp load. This ensures a snug fit.

  • Choose a bolt securing method that is effective.

  • Choose the most appropriate method of tightening.

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