When it comes to assembling machines or simply your new office chair, you’ve likely run across at least one washer. These components can be made out of metal, plastic, or even rubber. While you may have used them in the past, you may be confused at what exactly they’re supposed to do. The truth is that washers can be used for different purposes.
Flat washers, also known as just plain washers are the one kind that many people are familiar with using. Their sole purpose is to help distribute pressure from an object. You’ll apply them with a nut or screw. These washers tend to look circular and flat. They have a central hole that is meant to fit the bolt that goes through them.
Spacer washers are extremely similar to flat washers. They have two main purposes. First, they help to create a space between the nut and bolt during assembly. Second, they can act as a filler to secure a fastener that’s too small for the initial opening. The washer acts as a blockade where the small fastener can put pressure against the existing material at the opening. Spacer industrial washers are used in a variety of applications from simple office chairs to the automotive industry.
Lock washers are specifically designed to help minimize the friction and rotation of the fastener. There are many different varieties of lock washers including external tooth lock, internal tooth lock, and split lock. They all have a set of teeth that bites down on the fastener to secure it and resist compression. This type of washer is commonly used in the marine, aircraft, and automotive industries. You may also find them in use on some household appliances like your washer or dryer.
Spring washers are a specialized type of washer that is used to prevent the unfastening of a bolt during heavy vibrations. Their main job is to absorb the movement and dampen the noise created by vibrations. You’ll find many varieties of spring washers including dome spring, finger spring, cresent spring, wave, and belleville.
Washers may seem like a simple tool that is utilized during construction. The truth is that there are many different ones out there and choosing the right one to fit the needs of your job is imperative. Hopefully, you’ve learned a bit about the four different washers above and how they are used in the world around you.