What’s the Difference between Bolts and Screws?

What's the Difference between Bolts and Screws

 

When it comes to fasteners, one of the most common questions is, “What’s the difference between bolts and screws?” While bolts and screws may look similar, there are distinct differences that set them apart. In this article, we’ll explore the bolt vs screw and screw vs bolt debate to help you understand when to use each type of fastener.

Bolts Vs. Screws

20170811_144120

 

Bolts:

A bolt is a type of fastener with external threads and a head designed to be used with a nut. The primary characteristic of a bolt is that it relies on the nut to provide the necessary clamping force to hold assembled parts together securely. Bolts are not intended to create their own mating threads or hold themselves in place. Instead, they must protrude through the materials being fastened to allow the nut to engage the threads. Bolts are frequently used with washers to distribute the clamping force over a larger area.

 

Screws:

IMG_0538

Screws are threaded fasteners that can have a head or be headless (e.g., set screws). Unlike bolts, screws are designed to create their own mating threads in a pre-drilled hole or, in some cases, to create their own hole as they are driven into the material. Screws do not require a nut to fasten securely; they rely on the engagement of their threads with the surrounding material to hold themselves in place. Screws are typically tightened until they are fully seated in the material and are not intended to protrude through to the opposite side, although there are exceptions.

 

Bolt vs Screw and Screw vs Bolt:

When deciding between a bolt vs screw or screw vs bolt, consider the following:

  • Bolts are used when a nut is required to secure the fastener and when access to both sides of the assembly is available.
  • Screws are used when the fastener needs to create its own mating threads and when access to only one side of the assembly is available.
  • Bolts are more often used with washers to distribute the clamping force, while screws are less frequently used with washers, except for finishing purposes.

Terminology Clarification:

At AlbanyCountyFasteners.com, we understand that the terms “bolt” and “screw” are sometimes used interchangeably in industry jargon. To help our customers find the products they need more easily, we may use these terms interchangeably on our website. However, it’s essential to understand the technical differences between bolts and screws when selecting the appropriate fastener for your project.

 

Key Takeaways:

  • Bolts are designed to be used with a nut and require access to both sides of the assembly.
  • Screws create their own mating threads and do not require a nut to fasten securely.
  • While bolts and screws have distinct differences, the terms are sometimes used interchangeably in industry jargon.
  • Albany County Fasteners uses both terms to help customers find the products they need more easily.

Conclusion:


Now that you understand the difference between bolts and screws, as well as the bolt vs screw and screw vs bolt debate, you can make an informed decision when choosing fasteners for your projects. Whether you need bolts, screws, or other fastening solutions, AlbanyCountyFasteners.com has a wide range of high-quality products to meet your needs. Visit our website to explore our extensive inventory and find the perfect fasteners for your next project.

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Stainless Steel vs Galvanized Steel: Some Key Differences

Are you done looking for screws? You’ve likely seen that some of them are made of 100% stainless steel, while others are made of galvanized steel. Because of this, it’s hard to recognize the difference between them. Keeping in view everything, the two of them look and function similarly. So, what’s the contrast between stainless steel and galvanized steel?

These two kinds of screw materials are sold by every home-improvement retailer on the planet. There’s no simple response to this inquiry that which is best since the two kinds of steel have their pros and cons. All things considered, stainless steel and galvanized steel have the equivalent common objective of ensuring against rust and corrosion and they accomplish this objective astoundingly well. Before selecting one for a utility, first, we have to do a deep analysis of both these materials. Their quality, strength, and pricing, hence everything matters.

 

Stainless Steel

The term stainless steel is utilized to portray steel that has been blended in with at least 10% chromium. The expansion of chromium as a composite assist with securing against rust.

304 Grade Stainless Steel

316 Grade Stainless Steel

Properties
Stainless steel is shinier and progressively refined looking. While stainless steel isn’t invulnerable to rust, it positively has a more significant level of opposition than 100% steel. This is the reason stainless steel is frequently utilized in open-air conditions where there’s a lot of dampness. The chromium attempts to secure the metal against rust.

Composition
Stainless steel alloys are composed primarily of iron, with varying amounts of carbon, chromium, and other elements such as nickel, molybdenum, and titanium. The composition of these alloys can be adjusted to provide specific properties such as corrosion resistance, strength, and ductility. Threading and cold forming cause stainless bolts to become slightly magnetic, some fasteners will be more magnetic than others depending on size and how quick the cold forming process is. The detailed composition of stainless steel types is listed below;

Grades
(by ASTM standard)
Content by weight
Chrome Nickel Carbon (max) Molybdenum (max)
18-8 Stainless Steel 18% 8% 0.08% 0%
305 Stainless Steel 17%-19% 8%-10% 0.12% 0%
316 Stainless Steel 16%-18% 10%-14% 0.08% 2%
410 Stainless Steel 11.5%-13.5% 0% 0.15% 0%

 

Galvanized, Plated

Galvanized steel, then again, is a sort of steel that has been covered in a layer of zinc. Much like its partner, galvanized steel is additionally made to secure against rust. The zinc goes about as an obstruction of assurance between airborne dampness and the steel, shielding it from rust.

Zinc Plated Steel

 

Hot Deep Galvanized Steel

 

Yellow Zinc Plated Heat Hardened Steel

Properties
Galvanization is a procedure that plates steel in a way that shields it from rusting or eroding. This makes galvanized steel incredible for indoor and outside use. It additionally implies that you can support the galvanized tie or metal piece in a way that reaches another metal or material and do so by utilizing a different fastener or screw. It has different coatings;

Composition

Galvanized steel comprises of plunging a completed steel item into a hot shower of zinc. In this procedure, a bond happens, mixing the zinc to the outside of the steel. The zinc plate bonding develops until the external layer is fully composed of zinc. The external layer of this new steel item is harder than the steel to which it is attached to. The steel currently has a defensive layer of plating shielding it from rust. It has different coatings;

Material Coating Thickness Temperature Range Expected
Durability
Suitability
US Metric US Metric
Zinc Plated Up to 1 mil Up to 25 μm -148°F – 392°F -100°C – 200°C 15+ years Indoor

&

Outdoor

Hot Dipped 1.7 – 3.4 mils 43-58 μm -148°F – 392°F -100°C – 200°C 45-80 years Indoor

&

Outdoor

Electroplated 0.2 mil 5 μm -148°F – 392°F -100°C – 200°C 10+ years Indoor

&

Outdoor

*mil – a unit length in the US system equal to a thousandth inch or 0.001 inches.
*μm – a unit of length in the Metric system equal to one millionth (10-6) of a meter.

Comparison

Strength Analysis

Both galvanized and stainless screws are the absolute best materials for strength and quality. They are particularly valid for metal fixation, that’s why they are commonly known as self-tapping metal screws. Nonetheless, there are some measures you will need to observe while selecting between the two.

Stainless steel screws are made out of a few components, with chromium being the most noteworthy of the added substances and nickel a nearby second. The greatest and most significant point is that the whole of the clasp is stainless. It isn’t only a covering. Its quality and rust insurance are all through. That represents its higher rigidity rating. Companies did pressure tests on latches to mention that, what sort of crazy burden-bearing limit these stainless steel machine screws have. Stainless steel has a tensile PSI quality of 100,000 to 150,000. Hot Dipped galvanized screw has a rigidity of 62,000 PSI since they are grade 2 fasteners.

 

 

Material Tensile Strength Yield Strength
PSI MPa PSI MPa
Stainless Steel 100000-150000 689-1034 30000-40000 206-275
Galvanized Steel 38000-62000 262-427 21000-31000 144-213

Rusty Nature

The process of galvanization involves the application of a molten zinc coating onto a core of plain steel. While it is rare, the core of the screw may be exposed due to wear and tear over time.

In contrast, stainless steel screws are protected by their inherent chromium composition, which enables the formation of a passivation layer that provides excellent resistance to rust and corrosion. However, if the availability of oxygen is limited, such as in the presence of water, stainless steel screws may still corrode. Although such scenarios are relatively rare, it is essential to consider the potential risk of rusting in any application involving water and stainless steel screws.

Conclusion

Both have their distinct properties acquainted with their utility. Galvanized steel screw is cheaper than stainless steel screw but stainless steel screw is much more durable due to their anti-rust chromium property. This isn’t generally an immediate challenge. Galvanized screws have that solid, dull, mechanical look, while stainless steel is shinier and more refined looking. Thus, galvanized wins with regards to its cheap price, stainless steel with regards to quality, and rust insurance.

References

Related Categories

Rivet Guns – Tools Used to Install Blind POP Rivets

Types of Rivet Guns and What They’re Used For

 

SHOP RIVET TOOLS

 

In order to understand rivet guns, the first thing to do is understand how a rivet works. Blind rivets, often referred to by the brand name POP rivets, are an incredibly useful fastener designed to hold two materials together with a clamping force. POP Rivets are comprised of two pieces: the hat and the mandrel. The mandrel goes through the inside of the hat and gets pulled during installation. As the mandrel is pulled through the hat, it deforms the back of the hat.

Once the deformed portion grips against the back of the installation material the mandrel snaps leaving a clean finished application. It is common for this type of rivet to be used when you cannot get to the back of an installation earning this fastener the name of Blind Rivet. There are several exceptions to this including shave rivets (a rivet where the mandrel needs to be shaved down with a special tool after the installation).

Knowing how rivets work is great but how do you install them? A rivet requires a tool that keeps the hat of the rivet firmly pressed against the installation surface while simultaneously pulling the mandrel away from it. These tools are commonly referred to as rivet guns, riveters, rivet tools or riveting tools. Not only are there many things to call a rivet gun, there are also many varieties.

Types of Rivet Guns:

  • Hand Rivet Gun
  • Lever Riveter
  • Battery Riveting Tool
  • Pneumatic Rivet GunHand Riveter and Accessories

While not all rivet guns were made equal, it is easy to identify the type of rivet gun needed for an application. Read along as we cover the pros and cons of each type or riveter.

Hand Rivet Gun

Hand powered POP rivet guns work with a simple lever and squeeze technique. The first step when using one, is to choose the appropriate sized nose piece. Rivet guns normally come with several options to fit a range of blind rivets. Hand-operated riveters fit a variety of rivets, are usually made of mostly steel with a rubber grip and offer the cheapest cost.

Hand Rivet Guns are an excellent choice for the occasional user. If you find your project having just a few rivets, then this will do the trick. The biggest con on this riveting tool is the squeeze and the amount of time it takes. Used repeatedly, it can be very stressful on the hands, wrists and forearms making it less than ideal for projects requiring many rivets.

SHOP HAND RIVET GUN

 

Lever Riveter

Lever Riveter Tool

Lever Riveting Tools are the next step up in rivet guns. They also come with nose pieces but work with a wider range of rivet sizes. Lever rivet tools tend to be more heavy duty that a hand rivet gun and are easier on the user. Due to their larger size and lever action, they reduce the amount of physical strength required by the hand riveter. They also come with a collection bottle that catches the snapped mandrels after installation.

To install a rivet using the lever riveting gun, first, open the arms all the way. Then insert the mandrel into the nose piece. Once the hat reaches the nose piece, insert it into the installation hole. Then squeeze the two handles together. This will pull the mandrel in and snap it off. Now hold the lever rivet gun so the nose piece is in the air and open the arms. This will release the hold on the mandrel and it will fall into the bottle catch.

The lever riveting tool is an excellent tool found on many job sites. It makes installing blind rivets easier than using the hand riveter but is still manually done. It does come at a higher price point than the standard hand riveter but also comes with the ability to use a wider and larger range of rivets.

SHOP LEVER RIVETER


Battery Powered Rivet Tool

Battery Riveting Tool

Battery Powered POP Rivet Guns come in many varieties. The two main types function basically the same way, except for the last step. One type of battery powered rivet gun spits the mandrel out from the front of the gun and the other pulls the mandrel into a mandrel holder, so you do not need to worry about them until emptying the catch.

Battery powered riveters are great for the job site. They offer the versatility of not having a cord and the ease of simply pushing a button to install the rivet. Choosing the version with the mandrel catch is typically more expensive than the other battery powered option. The catch version makes installations faster by collecting the mandrels for you but be careful not to over-fill the catch or the gun may jam.

SHOP BATTERY RIVETING TOOL

 

Pneumatic Rivet Gun

Pneumatic Rivet Guns are powered by compressed air to very quickly and easily install blind rivets. With a built-in catch, the pneumatic riveting tool is easily the fastest way to install rivets.

Pneumatic Rivet Gun

The downside to pneumatic riveters is that they require a hosed connection to compressed air. This limits their versatility and portability more than any of the other tools available, but if the project requires installing a large number of rivets, this is undoubtedly the best tool to use to get it done. It also comes at a significantly lower price point than the electric powered tools.

SHOP PNEUMATIC RIVET GUN

 

Shave Rivet Tool

Shave Rivet Tools are a special tool used specifically for shave rivets. On shave rivets, the mandrel does not completely break off. The remainder is then shaved down using one of these tools to create a clean finish on the exposed hat portion. They are commonly used in trailer-based applications to resemble a buck rivet and leave a smooth head without the traditional hole of a standard blind rivet.

Shave rivet tools are a niche item because they are only used with shave rivets. However, there are multiple types of shave rivet tools. There are cheaper versions that act as an adapter to a cordless drill. These are more commonly bought by the DIYer or someone planning on sparingly working with shave rivets. The pneumatic option is much more expensive but works much faster and has supports to provide a smoother finish. They are commonly found in industries that use shave rivets on a regular basis.

Which Rivet Gun is the Best?

Now that we’ve gone over the many varieties of riveter tools, it’s time to determine which to buy when. Since one riveting tool isn’t necessarily “better” than the other we will instead identify which tool you should get depending on your situation.

  • Hand Rivet Gun – This tool is cost effective and ideal for small shops that use smaller size rivets sparingly. They require significant pressure to use and leave mandrel collection to the user which can be a pain.
  • Lever Riveter – The lever riveter is a step up. It’s a little more expensive but does everything you want the hand riveter to do and can’t. It works with larger sizes than the hand rivet gun and makes installations easier by increasing the leverage on the handles. The lever rivet tool comes with a mandrel catch to make cleanup easy.
  • Battery Riveting Tool – Ignoring the differences in battery riveters, both types come with a critical benefit: versatility. They offer powered installations without any cords. They are an ideal choice when commonly working with rivets on job sites.
  • Pneumatic Rivet Gun – Air-powered tools in general boast performance at the cost of being attached to a compressor. The Pneumatic Rivet Gun is no different. If the job calls for an excessive number of rivets, then this is the tool you want by your side.
  • Rivet Shaving Tool – This tool is only used with shave rivets making it a very niche item. For those working with them often, get the pneumatic version to save some time and headache but if you’re only working with them once in a while the drill attachment will get the job done.

 

SHOP RIVET TOOLS

 

Conclusion

While many tool varieties have options available that are totally unnecessary, the rivet gun varieties are different. Each tool has a place in each situation and they perform very well when placed in those situations. Before buying one for yourself, decide what you work with the most often and be realistic about the goals you wish to achieve with the tool.

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What Is Pozidriv? How Does It Differ From A Phillips Drive?


What Is Pozidriv?Pozidriv bit and Pozidriv screw

Pozidriv, commonly spelled incorrectly as “Pozidrive”, is an improved variation on the Phillips drive design. After the patent for the Phillips head expired, the company GKN Screws and Fasteners created the Pozidriv design.

The Pozidriv drive style was originally formed to address the largest issue Phillips heads are prone to: cam-out. Cam-out is defined as the slipping out of a drive recess that occurs when torque exceeds a certain limit. The Pozidriv drive style has the same self-centering design of a Phillips drive style but improves upon the two following factors:

  • Increased torque without cam-out
  • Greater surface contact engagement between the drive and the recess in the fastener head making it harder to slip when installed correctly

Can I Use a Pozidriv on a Phillips Screw? Or Vice-Versa?

While we at Albany County Fasteners do NOT recommend using the improper drive style on a screw, technically speaking you can. A Phillips drive style fits into a Pozidriv drive recess decently when using the right size. It’s important to note that even if the Phillips does fit snugly into the drive recess, it is still much more likely to strip or cam-out than when using the proper driver.

Alternatively, you can attempt to remove a Phillips screw with a Pozidriv drive but they do not fit into the Phillips drive recess snugly and are much more likely to slip or damage the recess during removal.

Where Are Pozidriv Screws Used?

Pozidriv screws can be used just about anywhere, although they are not nearly as popular as standard Phillips screws. Over the years, many other drive styles, such as the Torx and Robertson, have come out as being more reliable than the Phillips drive style at preventing cam-out and stripping. The Phillips drive is still extremely popular in manufacturing due to its self-centering design but is starting to lose popularity for manual applications due to other drive styles having a better design.

Benefits of the Pozidriv Drive Style

As an improvement on the Phillips drive style, the main benefit of using the Pozidrive is the increased torque without the increased risk of cam-out. Pozidriv screws can handle significantly more torque on the fastener recess than a Phillips drive can.

How Do You Identify A Pozidriv Screw?

While Phillips and Pozidriv screws look similar, Pozidriv are actually quite easy to recognize at a glance. This is due to four notches marked into the head of the Pozidriv screw that are not present in the Phillips Head Screw.

Phillips Pozidriv
Phillips Drive Recess Profile Pozidriv Drive Recess Profile



Pozidriv Screwdrivers

The Pozidriv drive style can be found in a range of sizes from 0-5. The letters PZ or PSD are usually listed before the size number (e.g. PZ3 or PSD5). ANSI standards refer to Pozidriv as a “Type IA”. The Pozidriv style can be found in two forms. Either as a Pozidriv screwdriver or as a Pozidriv screwdriver bit. We currently carry Pozidriv driver bits in several different sizes in the following Vega Bit Kits:

Pozidriv vs.

Phillips

The Pozidriv is an improvement on the Phillips drive by increasing its torque capacity without increasing the likelihood of cam-out. It also has greater surface area contact with the drive recess. This makes it less likely to strip when installed correctly. In general, you can determine if a Pozidriv screw should be used over a Phillips screw by asking the question “How much torque do I need for this installation?” If the answer is a minimal amount of torque, the Phillips drive will work, otherwise, use the Pozidriv. As an improvement on the original Phillips style, the Pozidriv style is better than the Phillips.

Torx

The Torx, or Star, drive style vastly changes the design of the drive recess. Due to the star having six points of contact (6-Lobe), the screw uses a truly radial force rather than an axial force. Phillips and Pozidriv screws use an axial force to drive the screw which is not as effective and is more likely to cause cam-out. For manual applications, Torx screws are quickly becoming the most popular choice.

ROBERTSON

The Robertson, or square, drive is quite common especially throughout Europe. The square drive offers a unique style as it must fit perfectly into the drive recess to drive properly. When it comes to Robertson vs. Pozidriv styles for manual applications, the Robertson is the winner. However, the square drive is not nearly as popular as the star drive style.

Conclusionpozidriv screw and pozidriv insert bit from Vega set

While the Pozidriv drive style is an improvement upon the Phillips drive style, the Phillips is still incredibly popular and does not seem to be going anywhere any time soon.

Should you be in the manufacturing field and find you are having trouble with cam-out, you may want to attempt a Pozidriv configuration. It will give you the added benefits of a reduced cam-out with a better fit into the drive recess while preserving the self-centering functionality that is a must for manufacturing. For manual applications however, both the Star and Square drives are better choices to better suit your needs.



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What Are Structural Rivets?

What Are Structural Pop Rivets?

Structural pop rivets (structural blind rivets) are rivets that are specially designed with a locking mechanism to hold the mandrel in place. Before we talk about how exactly a structural pop rivet works, we should begin with how pop rivets in general work.

Pop or Blind rivets are comprised of two parts: the hat and the mandrel. A rivet hat is the portion of the rivet that deforms and stays in the installation. The mandrel is the portion of the rivet that is pulled into the rivet and mostly removed. A standard pop rivet mandrel has a designed flaw near the base of the mandrel which makes it easier to snap.

To install a rivet, first a hole needs to be drilled into the two materials. The hole should be just wide enough for the rivet hat to fit into. Once the rivet is sitting in the two materials, a rivet installation tool is used to pull the mandrel through the rear of the hat while keeping the hat pressed firmly against the installation surface. As the mandrel is pulled into the hat it deforms the back of the hat causing it to widen and pull firmly up against the rear of the installation surface. Once the torque is reached the weakened point of the mandrel will snap resulting in a complete rivet installation.



How Do Structural Rivets Work?

Structural Blind Rivet Diagram

Structural rivets work slightly different from the typical blind rivet. A structural blind rivet has a built-in (internal) locking mechanism that is designed to hold the mandrel inside of the rivet after the exposed portion snaps. This is commonly referred to as an interlock rivet. Notice how in the diagram to the right, the portion of the mandrel to the left of the hat is also much larger in a structural rivet than in a standard pop rivet.

There are several reasons structural rivets keep the mandrel locked inside the hat once installed:

  • Increased Shear Strength
  • Increased Pullout Strength
  • Higher Resistance To Vibrations
  • In some cases, they are also said to be considered weather-proof

How To Install Structural Rivets

Installing a structural blind rivet can be done basically the same way as installing a standard pop rivet:

  1. Line up the two installation materials
  2. Choose the appropriate drill bit to match the diameter of the structural rivet
  3. Drill a hole through both materials
  4. Insert the rivet through both materials into the hole
  5. Attach a rivet installation tool onto the mandrel
  6. Activate the tool to draw the mandrel out towards the installation surface
  7. Once the mandrel snaps it is completely installed

How To Remove Structural Rivets

Removing a structural rivet is just as simple as removing a standard blind rivet. To remove a structural rivet:

  1. Punch a starting hole into the center of the rivet
  2. Get a drill bit that is the same diameter as the hole originally drilled
  3. Add some lubricant to the drill bit
    1. *If the rivet is spinning, cover it in tape to prevent it from spinning
  4. Drill through the rivet with the drill bit until it goes completely through the hole

How To Install Rivets With A Lever Rivet Tool

How to Install Structural Rivets

Common Industry Uses For Structural Rivets

  • Commercial Vehicles
  • Sheet Metal
  • Electrical
  • HVAC
  • Agricultural Equipment



Pop/Blind Rivet Installation Tools

Hand Operated Riveter
Hand Riveter
Industrial Lever Riveter
Industrial Lever Riveter
Battery Operated Riveter
Pneumatic Riveter
Pneumatic Air Riveter

*Pro Tip: Rivet measuring can be quite confusing try using an Rivet Gauge or our all-encompassing Rivet Guide to answer all of your rivet questions!

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