Design engineer's guide to fasteners design

Design Engineer's Application Guide Fasteners

What are the correct fastener dimensions and specifications for my design?

This is one of the many questions asked when design engineers decide which fasteners are right for their projects.

This guide is here to make it easier for designers to identify the right solutions they need based on the application of fasteners for each industry.

Our fasteners are designed to work for just about every application. However, in certain instances, a particular screw, nut, washer or rivet is the ideal choice for your task. To help you choose the product you need, depending on your fastener specifications, we’ve put together this guide including our most popular examples of fasteners. Materials are important when making your choice, so we also recommend our Fastener Material Selection Guide.

With fasteners ranging from nylon thumb screws and wing nuts to solid rivets and finishing washers, we’re here to make your job easier. That’s why we also encourage you to download free CADs and try before you buy with free samples.

Electronics

What are the three types of fasteners used when designing white goods, consumer electronics and office electronics?

Ensure the quality and life of your product with fasteners in the sizes and tolerances you need.

Keep your design together with the following electronics fasteners:

Hex Head Cap Screws - Plastic

Hex Head Cap Screws - Plastic

  • Lightweight hex head cap screw
  • Excellent electrical insulation properties
  • Nylon 6/6

Parts of a screw to consider, are screw thread including size, length (L), and distance across flats (F).

Wide range of screw sizes available, sample of screw dimensions explained:

Thread Size Material Thread Length
1/4-28 Nylon 19.1 mm to 12.7 mm
10-32 Nylon / PA 15.9 mm to 4.8 mm
M10 Nylon / PA / PEEK / PP 150.0 mm to 16 mm
M12 Nylon / PA / PEEK / PP 100.0 mm to 16 mm
M12 Nylon / PA / PEEK / PP 100.0 mm to 16 mm
Snap push-in rivet

Snap push-in rivet

  • High-temperature snap rivets – operating temperature range: -40˚C to 135˚C (-40˚F to 275˚F)
  • Suitable for awkward spaces
  • Handles heat generated by application
  • Tan Nylon 4/6 UL94-V2

Wide range of rivet sizes available.

Sample of rivet dimensions explained:

Minimum Compatible Hole Diameter Maximum Compatible Hole Diameter Material
3.6 mm 3.7 mm Nylon
3.1 mm 3.2 mm PSU
3.0 mm 8.0 mm LDPE
9.0 mm 9.55 mm PA

For more information on rivets, read our guide How to choose your plastic rivets?

Flat Washers - Plastic

Flat Washers - Plastic

  • Flat washer insulates against electricity
  • Resists corrosion, abrasion and most chemicals
  • Provides cushioning and spacing for a screw when a washer is attached
  • Nylon 6/6, rated UL94 V-2

Wide range of washer sizes available.

Sample of washer dimensions explained:

Inside Diameter Outside Diameter Material
8.4 mm 40.0 mm Nylon
4.0 mm 7.0 mm PA
6.4 mm 12.0 mm PVDF
10.5 mm 20.0 mm PP
2.6 mm 5.0 mm POM
5.3 mm 10.0 mm PEEK

Learn more from our guide How and When to Use Washers Effectively.

Automotive

In automotive fasteners are used when designing cars, motorbikes, road and rail freight (passenger vehicles) and specialist vehicles (construction, agricultural and mining vehicles).

OEM quality you can rely on, from lightweight to heavy-duty fasteners, for every part of the vehicle.

Discover the most popular types of automotive fasteners:

Push-in Rivets - Barbed

Push-in Rivets - Barbed

  • Barbed push-fit rivets enable fast, easy installation (also called fir-tree rivets)
  • Flexible ribs deflect and spring back to lock securely in place
  • Nylon 6/6, rated UV94 V-2
  • Operating temperature range:-40˚C to 85˚C (-40˚F to 185˚F)
  • Available in over 100 sizes and styles for different hole diameters and panel thicknesses

Wide range of rivet sizes available.

Sample of rivet dimensions explained:

Compatible Hole Diameter Minimum Compatible Panel Thickness Maximum Compatible Panel Thickness
4.1 mm 1 mm 2.5 mm
7 mm 13.5 mm 23.4 mm
5.5 mm 1.5 mm 14.2 mm
3 mm 3.5 mm 6.3 mm
10 mm 1.5 mm 20 mm

Learn more with our Guide to Panel Fastening.

Quarter-turn fasteners

Quarter-turn fasteners

  • Quarter-turn fasteners join together one fixed and one removable panel
  • Preassembled to reduce hardware and cost
  • Available in Nylon and POM (Acetal), rated UL94 HB

Wide range of quarter-turn fastener sizes available.

Sample of quarter-turn fastener dimensions explained:

Minimum Compatible Hole Diameter Maximum Compatible Hole Diameter Minimum Panel Thickness
9.0 mm 9.0 mm 4.0 mm
7.0 mm 7.0 mm 4.5 mm
6.0 mm 6.0 mm 3.0 mm
9.55 mm 9.55 mm 2.0 mm
8.76 mm 8.76 mm 1.5 mm
Retaining Washers

Retaining Washers

  • Retaining washer with anti-loss lip is suitable for pre-assembly
  • Sealing capabilities; resistant to corrosion and many chemicals
  • Nylon 6/6

Wide range of retaining washer sizes available.

Sample of retaining washer dimensions explained:

Material Inside Diameter Compatible Screw Sizes Outside Diameter Thickness
Nylon 17.0 mm M16 30.0 mm 3.0 mm
PC 5.5 mm M5 13.0 mm 5.5 mm
HDPE 3.3 mm M3.5 8.0 mm 0.5 mm

Learn more with our guide When to use Plastic Washers.

Retail & Furniture

Our range of retail and furniture fasteners includes strong, clear, display solutions ideal for point of sale and polycarbonate fasteners for office furniture.

Secure your design with our range of point of sale display and furniture fixings:

Fir-tree pushed-in rivet

Fir-tree pushed-in rivet

  • Fir-tree rivets, also called barbed rivets, are ideal for threaded, non-threaded, drilled or punched holes
  • Designed to be non-removable
  • Suitable for Point-of-Purchase displays
  • Available in polypropylene (PP) and nylon

Wide range of rivet sizes available.

Sample of rivet dimensions explained:

Compatible Hole Diameter Minimum Compatible Panel Thickness Maximum Compatible Panel Thickness
4.1 mm 1 mm 2.5 mm
10 mm 1.5 mm 20 mm
7.1 mm 3.8 mm 10.7 mm
Single-Sided Suction Cups - Hole

Single-Sided Suction Cups - Hole

  • Ideal for hanging string, wire, or cord for display materials
  • Attach to clean, flat surfaces without requiring a fastener
  • PVC

Wide range of suction cups sizes available.

Sample of suction cups dimensions explained:

Hole Diameter Cup Diameter
4.7 mm 35.0 mm
6.4 mm 25.4 mm
5.0 mm 40.0 mm
3.5 mm 25.0 mm
2.5 mm 12.7 mm
Thumb Screws Knobs

Thumb Screws Knobs

  • Thumb screw knobs can be used as thumb screw or knob
  • Knobs easily assembled by pressing onto a standard socket head cap screw of any
  • POM. Different colours available

Wide range of screw knobs sizes available.

Sample of screw knobs dimensions explained:

Knob Diameter Base Diameter
30.0 mm 16.0 mm
13.0 mm 7.0 mm
36.0 mm 17.0 mm
17.0 mm 8.5 mm
20.0 mm 10.0 mm

Machinery

  • Generators
  • HVAC
  • Industrial Tools

Our solutions include industrial tool and power generator fasteners, HVAC screws and a wide range of machine screws.

Enhance the life of your design with:

Carbon Steel Phillips Shoulder Screws

Carbon Steel Phillips Shoulder Screws

  • Used in conjunction with the VG series vibration grommets
  • 1022 carbon steel

Wide range of shoulder screw sizes available.

Sample of shoulder screw dimensions explained:

Thread Size Thread Length Shoulder Length Shoulder Diameter Lip Height Head Height
M3 5.1 mm 5 mm 3.7 mm 1.3 mm 2.4 mm

You might find it helpful to read How to Prevent Galling on Stainless Steel Bolts.

Lock Nuts

Lock Nuts

  • Designed for use with plastic machine screws and bolts
  • Self-threading for a secure fit
  • Flange & lock nut stands up to vibrations or movement
  • Resists corrosion, oil, abrasion and most chemicals
  • Nylon 6/6

Wide range of lock nut sizes available.

Sample of lock nut dimensions explained:

Thread Size Distance Across Flats
M16 x 2.1 23.7 mm
M6 x 1.1 10.0 mm
M4 x .8 7.0 mm
M8 x 1.26 13.0 mm
M10 x 1.6 16.0 mm
Fully Threaded Studs & Rods

Fully Threaded Studs & Rods

  • Threaded rod stock easily cut to size
  • Resistant to vibrations, abrasions and most chemicals
  • Electrically insulating, non-magnetic, lightweight and low thermal conductivity
  • Threaded stud with chamfer on both ends also available
  • Nylon 6/6

Wide range of stud and rod sizes available.

Sample of stud and rod dimensions explained:

Thread Size Overall Length
M10 200.0 mm
M10 x 1.50 1000.0 mm
1/4-20 19.1 mm
3/8-16 101.6 mm
10-32 50.8 mm
Cage Nuts

Cage Nuts

  • Square nut in a spring steel cage
  • Available in M5, M6 and M8
  • Suitable for securing hard-to-access areas
  • Easy application and removal
  • No tool required

Example of size M6 cage nuts:

Plastic Fasteners Materials – What you need to know?

Plastics have many advantages over metals. They cost less, don’t rust or conduct heat or electricity and can do a better job of standing up to UV rays. Check out the comparison tables around UV resistance, heat stability, tensile strength and chemical resistance in our fastener material infographic below. You can learn more about the advantages in Plastic vs metal fasteners: why plastic can be a better choice.

Download free CADs and try before you buy

Free CADs are available for most solutions, which you can download. You can also request free samples to ensure the solutions you’ve chosen are exactly what you need. If you’re not quite sure which product will work best for your application, our experts are always happy to advise you. Whatever your requirements, you can depend on fast despatch.

Request your free samples or download free CADs now.

Questions?

Email us at sales@essentracomponents.co.uk or speak to one of our experts for further information on the ideal solution for your application 0345 528 0474..