A Screw is No Longer Just a Screw: Coated Fasteners bring technology to the lowly fastener
Cutting edge technology reaches much further than you can ever imagine, touching even the lowly and rather mundane screw. And many industries now require that fasteners have increased strength, and better resistance to extreme temperatures, that they help create smooth surfaces and lower any friction that might come from their interaction with other parts.
What Does This Mean?
Basically it means that a screw is no longer just a screw, and that high-tech processes are also used to make the lowly fastener better and more resistant, thereby making them the perfect solution for specific industrial needs.
Fasteners come in all sizes and are made from many different materials. But it is not the composite materials used in their manufacture that makes them any stronger or more functional than the average screw or fastener. It is the use of specialized industrial coatings that can make these fasteners acquire greater industrial strength, prevent corrosion and improved resistance to extreme temperatures. Coated fasteners are needed for specialized machinery and processes within the pharmaceutical, chemical, waste management and mining industries.
In other words, conventional screws, bolts and fasteners may be functional within these industries, but they do not stand up well to the harsh industrial processes performed here. This is not acceptable, especially within certain industry processes that require a high level of sanitation or functionality.
What Are The Options?
Fastener manufacturers have found a solution to the problem by using specialized PTFE, Xylan or Halar coatings. These coatings offer varying benefits and features for manufacturers who have specific sanitation, temperature resistance, and protection requirements. So let’s shed some insight into these different coatings and discuss the physiognomy of each.
Although Polytetrafluoroethylene coatings sound very complicated, don’t be fooled by the technical mumbo jumbo. PTFE is quite simple, and you probably even have some products with this coating in your kitchen now. It comes in the form of your non-stick pots and pans.
What manufacturing processes require PTFE coatings? PTFE works well under extreme heat, so it is the appropriate coating for fasteners used in machinery that works at high temperatures or in processes and machines where you might use special chemical cleaners. This is when you need screws, bolts or other types of fasteners and tools that are highly resistant to corrosion and heat. This coating is also used on parts and fasteners in machines requiring dry lubricants and low friction. PTFE coatings are well known within the industrial sector for these special non-stick properties.
The benefits in using PTFE:
- Coated fasteners are corrosion resistant
- They are chemical resistant
- Fasteners are easy to assemble & remove
- Screws & bolts become high heat resistant
Although PTFE is now used in many different applications, the most common is for industries requiring non-stick attributes such as in cookware and food-grade applications or products.
A coating different from others because it is made of composite materials. Even so, this coating offers extremely low friction for fasteners of all types. It is a kind of “plastic alloy” which is extremely wear resistance, even in machinery or products that are under extreme pressure. The coating allows fasters to work at low friction and makes them weather resistant (against sunlight, salt water, chemicals, winter). An added benefit to using xylan coated fasteners is that they are appropriate for industrial processes requiring a wide range of temperatures ranging from -420° to +550°F.
Xylan is also very flexibility, giving fasteners, screws and other hardware leeway in size. The coating prevents excessive friction from other moving parts, and comes in several colors which allows for better maintenance and sizing. You can mill the coated fastener to your specifications.
The benefits of using Xylan:
- It offers a thin coating. This can be a thin film over a screw or fastener, just enough to help meet the product fastener size specifications. Or just enough to improve the surface quality of a product or machine. Xylan may be the solution to a measurement need or simply offer a better and smoother surface where the fastener sits. .
- Offers a high level of adhesion. Xylan sticks to almost any surface where other PTFE coatings sometimes won’t.
- Low Friction. Xylan coatings offer better lubrication and thereby reduce friction.
- It is resistant to high temperatures. A coating that is ideal in processes requiring high temperatures.
- Xylan coatings make screws, fasteners and hardware products stronger,resistant to wear, especially in processes that use high pressures.
Almost any major production, project or industrial prototype can benefit from using xylan coated screws and fasteners.
Halar ECTFE Coatings
Halar is another coating used on fasteners, screws, tubing, pipes, sheet metal and many other industrial products. Unlike the other two coating materials, this one has a semi-crystalline structure and comes in different grades and this helps meet different requirements. For instance, it can be applied in the form of an electrostatic powder or as a fluidized bed coating.
Manufacturers sometimes prefer this coating for its high resistance to chemicals, and extreme temperatures and weather conditions. However, unlike Xylan or PTFE, Halar can be transparent and manufacturers can also use it in welding processes.
Coatings for Demanding Industries
Unlike other fastener manufacturing materials, PTFE, Xylan and Halar are coating materials used for demanding industries such as:
- Marine transportation
- Acid production and storage
- Electrolysis collectors
- Halogen Applications
- Hazardous chemical or waste processing
Strength is The Key Factor in Using Any of The Three Coatings
Okay, so these coatings can be used in a variety of different processes, even a few that we have not considered here. But they are mostly used in applications where equipment is exposed to harsh chemicals, cleaning solvents, and processes involving harsh solutions or high temperatures.
Coatings are used on fasteners as protective shields, but they are also used on sheet metals, in exhaust ducts, waste disposal equipment and more. Overall, it is the high fire safety rating, the protective coating and the surface smoothness that these coatings offer when they are applied to fasteners or other materials. It is this that helps reduce buildup and friction in parts and machines.