When choosing a fastener for your project or product, there are countless factors to consider. First, what type of fastener do you need? The possibilities are endless. Bolts and nuts join two or more parts by threading the bolt through the nut, whereas screws have helical threads and fasten materials by threading into a pre-drilled hole or creating their own threads. Rivets are permanent fasteners used to join materials, particularly in aircraft and structural applications, by deforming the end to create a secure connection. Anchors are used to fasten objects to masonry or concrete, providing stability.

The type of fastener you choose will depend on many factors, including materials, sizes and configurations. This variety helps fasteners meet the requirements of different projects and industries, from construction and automotive assembly to electronics and aerospace. You should choose which type of fastener you need based on what materials you’re joining, where the fastener is located in the system and what load and stress requirements the fastener will have.

After choosing the type of fastener, you have to consider what material the fastener is made of to ensure the best results. For example, nuts and bolts come in various materials, and the materials greatly influence the strength and durability of the screw. Below, the experts at Certified Global Fasteners explore three common fastener materials–stainless steel, carbon steel and specialty alloys–to help you decide which type is right for you.

3 Fastener Materials You Need to Consider

Stainless steel

Stainless steel is a popular and reliable fastener material. Because it contains a minimum of 10.5% chromium, it is corrosion resistant, making it ideal for high humidity or weather-exposed products. It also has high strength and durability. Stainless steel is an excellent fastener material for products in marine environments, outdoor structures or food processing equipment. Stainless steel fasteners are also ideal when aesthetics matter due to their shiny, non-corrosive finish.

Carbon steel

Carbon steel is a versatile product for fasteners. Because it is an alloy that combines iron and carbon, it is cheaper than stainless steel. Carbon steel comes in low, medium and high carbon content. Low-carbon steel is softer and more malleable, whereas high-carbon steel is harder and stronger. Carbon steel fasteners are ideal for general projects where corrosion is not the primary concern. Low-carbon steel is often used in construction and structural applications, while high-carbon steel is used in specialized projects where high strength is required, such as automotive and machinery.

Specialty alloys

An alloy is a material made by combining two or more elements. Combining elements helps manufacturers create unique products with specific properties. Through alloys, engineers create products with extreme temperature resistance, corrosion resistance and exceptional strength. There are countless specialty alloys for fasteners. Common specialty alloys for fasteners include:

  • Inconel: This nickel-chromium-based alloy is ideal for high-temperature and corrosive environments
  • Monel: The nickel-copper alloy is suited for corrosion resistance, particularly in marine applications
  • Hastelloy: THis nickel-based alloy has excellent resistance to various corrosive media, including acids and chemicals.

Fastener Expertise from Trustworthy Experts

Choosing the correct type of fasteners and material can be challenging. You must fully understand the project or product, build process, environment, tensile capacity and durability requirements. Fortunately, the experts at Global Certified Fasteners have decades of experience analyzing and selecting appropriate fastener types and materials for hundreds of different applications. Our products are also certified to meet industry standards and keep your products aligned with compliance regulations and safety requirements. Contact us today for help selecting the best fastener for you.