Inch bolts are one of the most popular types of fasteners and can be found in all kinds of applications. As such, understanding the different types of inch bolts and how they differ can help a user make an informed decision on which type of fastener to choose for a specific application. When selecting a bolt, there are many things to consider, including the function the bolt needs to perform, how much load it will be under, and what material it will be made of.
First, a user must determine whether they are working with inch or metric bolts. This is important because the two systems use different standards when measuring bolt sizes. It can be difficult to match up standard and metric fasteners, leading to problems when it comes time to install or remove the bolt. This can lead to damaged threads, loosening of the bolt, and even failure of the entire system.
When working with inch bolts, the measurements of the fastener are listed as a diameter followed by a number and then a TPI (thread per inch). The TPI measurement is especially important because it determines the thread’s tensile stress area. The higher the TPI, the more the bolt can withstand tensile stress. This is why manufacturers invest so much into classifying the thread’s TPI; they want to know how well it will hold up in real-world conditions.
The next thing to consider when selecting a bolt is the grade. This is important because it dictates the strength of the bolt and how well it can withstand the stresses of daily use. It is also the factor that determines how well a bolt will hold in a threaded hole.
There are several grades of bolts available, ranging from a low-carbon steel to an extremely durable stainless steel. Each grade has a different corrosion resistance, which is another factor to take into account when choosing a bolt for an application. For example, a bolt with a Zinc coating is best for an indoor application while a stainless steel bolt will work best in a salty environment.
Once the user has determined what type of bolt they need, they must then decide on a size and material for the application. For instance, a bolt with a large head and heavy duty TPI will work better in an industrial application than a smaller bolt used in a residential setting.
A final consideration is how the bolt will be installed or removed from the system. For instance, some bolts are threaded to be screwed into place while others require a wrench to apply the torque necessary to remove them. The user should then select a bolt that matches these requirements in order to ensure a proper and reliable installation or removal process. In addition, users should consider if the bolt will be exposed to moisture or harsh chemicals. This is particularly important if the bolt will be located in an outdoor location or a food processing facility.