AS9120B, ISO 9001:2015, and FAA AC 0056B ACCREDITED

Why Are Washers Often Paired With Fasteners?

Fasteners are important components for any assembly, serving to join parts together with ample security. To ensure that certain fasteners perform well with optimally distributed loads, protection from vibration, equal spacing, and other advantageous characteristics, components known as washers are regularly used. While often simplistic in their design and appearance, washers often make the difference between a rigorous assembly and one destined to fail.

While coming in a number of different types, the basic design of a washer is to have a thin, circular, and metallic plate that has a hole cut into the middle. With this hole, components such as a bolt and nut or screw fastener can be passed through, allowing for the head to rest against the surface of the washer. With this assembly, the washer can further distribute the load of the fastener, as well as prevent the loosening of the component as well. When a washer is intended to be used for load distribution specifically, a thin, flat ring of softer steel is optimal. When one wants to lock a fastener in place, on the other hand, washers that feature spring action are the best as they are able to counterbalance the increased distance that exists between the bolt head and the nut.

As discussed prior, one of the main roles that washers serve is to optimally distribute the weight of a threaded fastener onto the installation material. As an example, screw fastener components can often cause cracking and damage to certain materials like wood if forces are not applied carefully, and the addition of a washer will better distribute force so that the material is safe. Generally, washers for load distribution are most common when the installation material is soft or wooden.

In other instances, a washer may simply replace a spacer to ensure proper assemblies. If the threaded fasteners used on a material have a length that exceeds the installation depth, it can be somewhat difficult to install the component without having a portion protruding from the back of the surface. To prevent such issues, washers can be added as a form of padding, decreasing the distance from which the fastener travels into an object when tightened.

When one is specifically in the market for a washer with vibration mitigation capabilities, they will want to procure vibration damping washers, those of which are also known as vibration-isolation washers. Unlike other variations, vibration absorbing washers are often made from non-metal materials such as plastic, urethane, and rubber. With such materials, the washer will be capable of absorbing an increased amount of vibrational forces when compared to its metal counterparts. Generally, objects that are attached by threaded fasteners will produce vibration, and the washer will ensure that damage is defended against.

With some washers, assemblies may be protected from moisture as the component acts to mitigate the entry of fluids. These washers are often present in various piping systems, allowing for a waterproof seal to be established at the site of a connection. Similar to vibration damping washers, liquid-sealing washers are often constructed from softer materials.

Whether you find yourself in the market for shake-proof lock washers, helical spring washer components, liquid-sealing washers, or other various products, we have you covered at NSN 360. NSN 360 is a premier purchasing platform owned and operated by ASAP Semiconductor, and we present customers access to over 2 billion new, used, obsolete, and hard-to-find items. As you explore our current set of offerings, we invite you to utilize our RFQ service to request quotes for your comparisons with ease. Once a team member receives and reviews your completed form, they will reach out to you in 15 minutes or less to continue the purchasing process, 24/7x365. Get in contact with one of our team members at your earliest convenience, and see how we can fulfill your various part needs with unmatched pricing and services at NSN 360.


September 19, 2022
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