A fastener is a hardware device that mechanically joins or affixes two or more objects together. Mechanical fasteners are those that rely on some mechanical principle (not adhesives) and are semi-permanent (unlike clamps). Mechanical fasteners are what we supply. These include nuts, bolts, screws, rivets, washers, threaded inserts, spring steel fasteners (cage-nuts, u-nuts, s-clips, nut retainers, threaded coils, etc.).
Typical Mechanical Fasteners:
Fasteners can also be used to close a container such as a bag, a box, or an envelope; or they may involve keeping together the sides of an opening of flexible material, attaching a lid to a container, etc. There are also special-purpose closing devices, e.g. a bread clip. Items like a rope, string, wire (e.g. metal wire, possibly coated with plastic, or multiple parallel wires kept together by a plastic strip coating), cable, chain, or plastic wrap may be used to mechanically join objects; but are not generally categorized as fasteners because they have additional common uses. Likewise, hinges and springs may join objects together, but are ordinarily not considered fasteners
because their primary purpose is to allow articulation rather than rigid attachment. Fasteners used in these manners are often temporary, in that they may be fastened and unfastened repeatedly.
Some types of woodworking joints make use of separate internal reinforcements, such as dowels or biscuits, which in a sense can be considered fasteners within the scope of the joint system, although on their own they are not general purpose fasteners. Furniture supplied in flat-pack form often uses cam dowels locked by cam locks, also known as conformant fasteners.
Other alternative methods of joining materials include: crimping, welding, soldering, tapingbrazing, , gluing, cementing, or the use of other adhesives. The use of force may also be used, such as with magnets, vacuum (like suction cups), or even friction.
Examples of Assorted Fasteners:
Mechanical Fasteners are typically made by Cold-Heading. Cold heading (or cold forming) is a method of forming metal in progressive steps into net shaped or near net shaped parts. Starting with a slug, which is cut from a continuous coil of wire material; the cold heading machine uses a series of powerful hammers and dies to form a part. This process creates very little to no waste, offers significant material cost savings, and the volume of the starting slug is about the same as the finished part. The net volume remains the same since the material is being formed into the die, rather than cut from the blank. The cold heading process creates a stronger part, with smooth continuous surfaces while enhancing the grain flow of the material.
Simple Single Die, Two Blow Cold-Heading Process:
NOTE: More complex parts can have multiple dies and additional blows (operations).