Fasteners are often critical components of complex systems, and as such, they need to be reliable, durable, and long-lasting. When choosing the appropriate fasteners, not only do all mechanical variables need to be considered, but all chemical variables as well. Suitable coatings may be necessary to ensure long-lasting strength and durability by protecting the metal underneath.
Regarding plated fasteners, there are a wide variety of coatings that can be applied to protect the metal from corrosion and other environmental factors. In this blog post, we will discuss different types of fastener coatings and their uses to help you make an educated decision when it’s time to purchase fasteners for your next project.
Why would fasteners need a coating?
There are several reasons why fasteners may require coatings. Protecting the lifespan of the fastener may be necessary if external variables may affect the fastener. They are typically used to protect against corrosion and wear and tear, but fastener coatings may also be used for aesthetic purposes or for electrical insulation.
Below are common reasons for choosing a fastener plating or coating.
- Fastener exposure to harsh environments or chemicals
- Friction reduction
- Improved appearance or finish
- Rust prevention
Types of Platings and Coatings
While stainless steel is not a plating or coating, it is often the best option when rust prevention is a critical variable. Stainless steel may be necessary if your fastener is used in harsh and potentially corrosive conditions. Stainless steel fastener is often used in medical, marine, food, and outdoor applications.
Zinc plating is a process in which a layer of zinc is added to the surface of the metal to protect it from corrosion. It is one of the most popular fastener coatings, as it is relatively inexpensive and provides good protection against rust and other corrosive elements compared to plain steel fasteners.
Zinc plating is available in several different finishes, including bright, dull, and chromate. Bright zinc plating is often used for decorative applications, while dull and chromate finishes are more common for industrial applications. The key advantage is its excellent protection against corrosion.
Hot Dipped Galvanized
While zinc plating is popular and provides increased corrosion resistance, hot dipped galvanized fasteners have a thicker layer of zinc for even more corrosion resistance. Hot-dipped galvanized coatings are very popular for outdoor and marine applications.
PTFE Coatings provide exceptional resistance during high temperatures and harsh chemical applications. A PTFE coating can significantly increase the lifespan of a fastener. Not only do PTFE coatings increase the lifespan of installed fasteners, but it also serves as a lubricant and decreases surface friction when uninstalling and re-installing fasteners. Teflon is a trademarked name for PTFE material and is commonly used.
Cadmium plating offers excellent corrosion resistance. Plated faster is also electrically conductive, making it an ideal choice for electrical applications. Cadmium is also known for its low friction properties, making it ideal for use in applications where two moving parts come into contact with each other, such as with screws or hinges.
If you need a high-performance fastener coating, you may want to consider using a nickel-based alloy. It can be applied to fasteners through electroplating and offers good protection against corrosion. Nickel silver is often used in electronics because it conducts electricity well and is non-magnetic. It is also used in some food service applications due to its resistance to staining and tarnishing.
Custom Industrial Stainless Fasteners at Lilly Fasteners
Kenneth G. Lilly fasteners is a leading fastener supplier. While we stock almost all fastener types, our custom functions are where we shine when providing plated/coated material. Kenneth G. Lilly Fasteners and our industry-leading expertise can offer the appropriate custom plating and coating for even your most intense applications.
When choosing a fastener plating or coating, it is important to consider the application and environment in which the fastener will operate. For example, if the fasteners are exposed to salt water or other harsh environments, you will need a coating that can withstand these conditions. With so many options available, it is important to consult an expert to learn about the coatings and platings available.