A Complete Guide to High-Temperature Fasteners
Depending on the industry in question, sectors ranging from automotive to HVAC rely on fasteners. More specifically, they use fasteners that can perform well in high-temperature environments. As such, we will cover high-temperature fasteners, their materials, and their importance in a wide range of sectors.
How Does Heat Affect Metal Fasteners?
While metals have temperature limits, they can sustain temperatures of up to 538 degrees Celsius. In fact, without heat-resistant metals, high temperatures affect fasteners in a multitude of ways. For example, excessive heat can corrode certain metals and generally happen as a result of a chemical attack from gas, molten metals, or salts. Another major way that high temperatures affect metals is by weakening their material strength. Usually, metal weakens and becomes more ductile when exposed to extremely hot operational settings. In contrast, very low temperatures can make it brittle. Lastly, heat can also cause metal fasteners to expand, placing unprecedented amounts of pressure on the holes they have been installed into. Once the metal cools, the fastener will contract and loosen.
Before Choosing a Fastener
Before selecting a fastener for your applications, you must consider the material composition. That being said, high-heat bolts, high-temperature washers, heat-resistant rivets, and other fastening components have specifical mechanical properties. Selection begins with determining a few things. To begin, you must verify the average temperature your fastener will be exposed to and how long the fastener will be exposed to it. Next, confirm if the fastener will experience vibration or shock. Then, you must determine if corrosion poses a threat or not. Lastly, decide if you want your fastener to conduct electricity.
It is worth noting that different manufacturers can produce materials with varying maximum service temperatures by incorporating additives that can offer more heat resistance. For instance, two manufacturers can produce the same material but with different operating temperatures.
High-Strength Non-Metallic Fasteners
One of the best non-metallic materials for fasteners is ceramic. Ceramic fasteners often contain tantalum which is a remarkable compound for its hardness, resistance to chemical attacks and oxidation, and high melting point. However, ceramics can become brittle at extremely low temperatures. Nonetheless, they are still a go-to choice of fastener material because they can be designed with high strength and a good coefficient of thermal expansion. Other popular non-metallic materials include PEEK and PPS (Polyphenylene sulfide).
High-Temperature Resistant Stainless Steel
High-temperature stainless-steel alloys are excellent choices for fasteners. In particular, grades 309 and 310 are the most heat-resistant stainless steels and alloy 330 comes as a close second to these. Furthermore, stainless steels perform well in temperatures between -73 degrees Celsius and -184 degrees Celsius.
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