How to Pick the Perfect Shoulder Bolt for Your Applications

Shoulder bolts are common in a variety of industries ranging from aerospace, automotive, and plastic molding industrial plants. They can be tailored for highly-specialized applications.

They bolt normally has three main sections, the head, shoulder, and thread. They are unlike other types of screws in that they are not rigid and fixed. They facilitate movement through the rotational collar. The fastener is defined by the diameter of the shoulder and its length.

Why You May Require a Custom Shoulder Bolt

A custom shoulder bolt has many applications and is often used for injection molding. For injection molding, precision fasteners act as a shaft for a rotating element. In such applications, precision shoulder bolts can provide the accuracy you require.

Normally, custom manufacturers of micro screws give a ±0.005 limit. As part of an injection mold setup, the limit ought not to be exceeded, or some issues could crop up. For example, the system may be subject to pressure from an uneven load. Over time the movement may cause the bolt to break. Also, when the shoulder length is inaccurate, the plate in contact with it can move out of place and jam the system.

Another function of the custom shoulder bolt is aesthetics. The head of the bolt may be changed to fit the outer facade of your equipment or furniture. For example, for some equipment, a stainless steel screw head may be the best match for the equipment’s casing. It could also have a wooden drive and head to blend in with the furnishings.

Regardless of your application, you may need custom bolts that precisely fit the system. Generic screws will often not be a precise fit. Tailored fastener options, ensure that the head, shoulder, and thread, work seamlessly together.

Factors to Consider when Choosing a Custom Shoulder Bolt

  • Material: The material is an important consideration when you are trying to find the right fastener for your applications. There are many types you can find, ranging from plastic, steel, brass, and a number of metal alloys. Steel is the most popular, thanks to its corrosion and rust-resistance. Grade 316 stainless steel is more common for industrial applications than grade 303, due to its higher rating in resisting depletion of the material. On the other hand, plastics are affordable and may be suitable where electrical conductivity may be problematic. However, the tolerances you can achieve with plastic are low for applications that require precision-grade bolts.
  • Hardness: The screws need to be strong enough to handle the load of your applications. The shoulder may serve as a journal or a guide for moving components. However, there should be a balance of strength and flexibility. The material should be hard, but not so much that it restricts its movement in the setup.
  • Shoulder Dimensions: The tolerance for the shoulder length will depend on whether the screw is precision or standard grade. Precision grade bolts leave a very small room for error and are usually in the range of between 0.0005 to 0.00015 inches. They make for a tight fit but will normally leave room for flexibility. If you want specific dimensions, you can have a fastener manufacturer make a tailored part for your application.
  • Thread Dimensions: The threaded neck often requires precise measurements, especially in situations where other components need to fit properly. The thread length is another important factor you need to evaluate carefully. Suppliers often have bolts with the threaded length having varying tolerances.
  • Type of Drive: There are also many different types of drives for varying applications. You can find hex, square, Torx, star, and even tamper-proof. You can order tailor-made ones from your custom fastener company.

In Conclusion

Making the right choice of custom shoulder bolts is critical for your project. You ought to evaluate the best materials, dimensions, and strength, before deciding on the fastener to use in your applications. You can find more information on our websites on micro screws, bolts, and fasteners.

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