Not all nuts are hexagonal. You can find these mechanical fasteners in other shapes, including that of the letter U. Known as U-nuts, they are commonly used in conjunction with sheet metal. Rather than welding two sheet metal panels together, you can use a U-nut.
What Are U-Nuts?
Also known as U-nut clips, U-nuts are a type of clip-on nut that resemble the shape of the letter U. They consist of a metal clip with a hole in the center. You can clip a U-nut onto the edge of a sheet metal panel.
How U-Nuts Work
Like other clip-on nuts, U-nuts work by clipping on the edge of a panel. Most of them support a single threaded fastener. After aligning two or more sheet metal panels together, you can clip a U-nut onto the edge of one of the panels. The hole in the center is intended for a threaded fastener. With the U-nut in place, you can then drive a screw through the central hole and into the sheet metal panels.
U-Nuts vs J-Nuts
U-nuts aren’t the same as J-nuts. They are both classified as clip-on nuts, and they both feature barbs or “legs.” The legs are the clipping appendages found on the side. The difference is that U-nuts have uniform legs of the same length, whereas J-nuts have legs of different sizes. This nuance results in a different shape: U-nuts are shaped like the letter U, and J-nuts are shaped like the letter J.
Benefits of U-Nuts
You don’t need any special tools or equipment to install U-nuts. They are simple fasteners that are easy to install. To install a U-nut, you just need to clip it onto the edge of a sheet metal panel. You can then drive a screw through the central hole to hold those panels together.
There are different options from which you can choose when shopping for U-nuts. If you want to use a particular screw size, for instance, you can choose U-nuts that support your preferred screw size. Some U-nuts are designed for use with M4 screws, whereas others are designed for use with 6Z or 8A screws.
You aren’t limited to using U-nuts in any single size. They are available in different sizes. When shopping for U-nuts, you should consider the length and width, which represents their overall dimensional size. And you should consider the U-nuts’ hole size. Check both the diameter of the hole and the distance from the center of the hole to the edge of the U-nuts.