Metric fasteners are becoming more common, and dealing with them properly is critical to not damaging the fastener. Working with a metric fastener without the right tool can damage the fastener and require a replacement. Getting the right metric fastener to replace it with is essential, but finding them is also becoming easier as they become more popular in products and other applications.
Metric Fasteners and Materials
Metric fasteners are made from many different materials, but the most common is steel or a steel alloy because it is strong and durable. The fastener may need to be made from an alloy like stainless steel or some other blended material if it requires specific properties to do the job it is intended to do.
Often the material that the metric fastener is going into or being used with will dictate the properties of the fastener. Food grade stainless steel may require fasteners with similar properties, or a fastener that is threaded into aluminum may need to be made from a material that will not react with the aluminum and cause the fastener to seize in the material.
When dealing with metric fasteners, it is vital to note that the thread pitch and wire sizes of the fasteners are not compatible with SAE or standard fasteners. If you are using metric fasteners, you need to make sure that any nuts or threaded parts use the same thread pitch and size for the fastener to hold properly.
The threads on metic fasteners are typically finer than standard fasteners, and if you try to put a standard nut on a metric bolt, the coarse threads of the standard nut will crush the fine threads on the metric bolt. The only correct fix for that situation is to replace the fastener with a new one and make sure to use the correct nut on the bolt next time.
Buying Metric Fasteners
Because of the popularity of metric fasteners, most industrial suppliers carry a wide variety of options for you to choose from. If you do not have an industrial supply in your area, most large home centers and hardware stores also carry many different types of metric fasteners to choose from.
You may have to look a little harder if you need a specific metal or alloy, but steel and stainless steel are common with most vendors that carry metric fasteners. If you need something very specific, ask the vendor about it, and if they do not carry it, they may be able to order the fasteners you need.
If you need metric fasteners, contact a company like Jackson Bolt & Screw, Inc.