Plastic fasteners have grown to become viable products for joining applications in various industries. They are regarded as suitable alternatives to metal fasteners, and are known for their flexibility, durability, and application versatility. The various material features and benefits makes them ideal products for applications in a variety of industries such as aviation, marine, automotive, construction, oil and gas, food and beverage, sewage plants, and heavy machinery.
Types of Plastic Fasteners
Plastic product manufacturers can produce a variety of fasteners to meet the needs of various applications. Examples of well-known fasteners include:
- Nylon Threaded Rods
- Plastic Threaded Rods
- Plastic Screws
- Cable Ties
Benefits of Plastic Fasteners
One of the reasons behind the popularity is that they can be manufactured using a variety of plastic materials. The following are some of the popular plastic materials used to manufacture fasteners.
Nylon: Possibly one of the most well-known fastener materials, nylon is known for its resistance to corrosion, electric conductivity, extreme weather, strong chemicals, and abrasions. It displays low friction, mechanical stability, and does not require any lubrication in an application.
Acetal: Also known as Delrin, this material is popular due to features such as high stiffness, stability, and low friction. It is resistant to heat and abrasions, and possesses dielectric properties.
Polyvinyl Chloride: PVC is non-toxic, optimizes fastener performance, chemical stability, resistant to chemicals, and is inexpensive.
Kynar: Polyvinylidene fluoride or PVDF is generally used in applications that require pure and high strength materials. PVDF is resistant to acids, solvents, heat and smoke generation. It has low density and can even be injected, molded and welded.
Phenolics: By nature, phenolics is a hydrophobic material, which makes it the perfect replacement for metal fasteners in water related applications. It provides good resistance to alkalis and acids.
Apart from the materials, plastic fasteners can provide other benefits to the product manufacturer and his customers.
Ease of Use and Durability: These can be easily removed after fastening and reused, making them reliable and long-lasting.
Can Replace Metal Fasteners in Applications: These prove to be the best solutions for applications where metals can rust and corrode.
Performance Maintenance: While metal fasteners have been required to be optimized for better performance, plastic fasteners have been able to maintain their performance, and are available in standard and custom designs. These fasteners can be designed with high strength so that they don’t get hot or melt under pressure. Plastic does not conduct electricity, making plastic fasteners extremely useful in applications where electricity can adversely affect a machine’s performance.
Versatility: If required, plastic fasteners can also be used along with metal fasteners to improve the seal of fastening holes and prevent contaminants like dirt and dust from entering the hole. For example, a toggle fixer can be used with a metal screw to seal a hole. The fixer expands when a metal screw is driven into it, thus locking the fixer in place and providing complete sealing. They can be manufactured in various colors, which enhances their aesthetic appeal in an application.
Miscellaneous Advantages: In many industrial applications, designers, and engineers choose to use plastic fasteners for benefits like good chemical and acid resistance, thermal and electrical insulation, and water tolerance.
The wide array of manufacturing materials and numerous benefits firmly justify the importance and usefulness of plastic fasteners in various application industries.