Washers are critical in any application that involves moving parts. Aside from securing the joints, it can function as an insulator, sealer, and distributor of loads. Without it, failure of the application is inevitable. It is therefore important to select the right washer for optimum performance.
When selecting for the right washer, it is crucial that you choose the right type and the right material. Washers are flat and round objects with holes in the middle. There are different types of washers. It is basically categorized into three types – plain, spring and locking washers. Plain washers are designed to evenly spread the load of the equipment without damaging the surface. The spring and locking washers function the same – they can secure the fastening devices (like nuts, bolts, and screws) from heavy vibrations.
You may be confused because the American National Standards Institute categorized washers differently – Type A and Type B. Type A are washers created for broad tolerances while Type B are washers created for tighter tolerances. Now that you know the type, it is time to consider the materials used. Keep in mind that material selection is crucial because there are applications that require particular material to ensure the washer tolerance.
Washers can be made from different materials. They can be made from steel (carbon steel, spring steel, and stainless steel), metal (aluminum, brass, bronze, copper, iron, and zinc), plastic (polyethylene), specialty (rubber, fabric, leather and felt) and alloy. If you are thinking about alloys, you should be aware of its advantages. Here are the advantages:
Alloys enhance the hardness of a metal
Alloys are stronger compared to pure metals because it enhances the hardness. Alloying is the act of combining 2 or more metallic elements. Remember that pure metals are soft and alloying it with another metal or nonmetal can harden it.
Alloys improve tensile strength
The formation of the alloy improves the tensile strength of the parent metal. Tensile strength refers to the maximum amount of the material before it breaks.
Alloys enhance corrosion resistance
Metals are easily corroded but alloys offer more resistance to corrosion. Pure metals are chemically reactive, which means the atmospheric moisture and gases around can easily corrode it. Alloys can increase the dullness of the metal, which can increase its resistance to corrosion.
Alloys modify the color
The color of the pure metal can be modified through alloying it with other metals. Pure metals can also be fused with nonmetals to achieve a suitable color pigment.
Alloys provide improved castability
Castability means producing a quality casting with minimum cost, time and defects. Since alloys expand greatly, it is an important requirement of getting good castings.
You have to know that there is Alloy 20 Stainless Steel Washers. These washers are developed for washer applications involving sulfuric acid. It is composed of nickel, chromium, carbon, copper, molybdenum, manganese, silicon, niobium and iron.