When choosing washers, you should consider the load to which they will be exposed. Washers are fasteners that are used in conjunction with other fasteners. They are typically used to distribute the load of a bolt. For high-stress applications involving heavy loads, you may want to choose through-hardened washers.
Overview of Through-Hardened Washers
Through-hardened washers are traditional disc-shaped washers that have been hardened. Hardening is a metallurgy process that, as the name suggests, is designed to increase the hardness of a metal.
Some washers are made of plain metal. Through-hardened washers, on the other hand, are made of hardened metal. They are used for the same purpose of distributing the load of a bolt, but through-hardened washers are made of heat-treated, hardened metal.
How Through-Hardened Washers Are Made
How are through-hardened washers made exactly? Through-hardened washers are made via heat treatment. Hardening is a form of heat treatment in which a metal object, such as a washer, is heated and then quenched in water or oil.
Most through-hardened washers are comprised of medium-carbon or high-carbon steel. Steel is an iron alloy. All types of steel contain at least some carbon; high-carbon steel simply contains a higher concentration of carbon than other varieties of steel. Regardless, through-hardened washers are typically made of medium-carbon or high-carbon steel.
Medium-carbon or high-carbon steel is hardened via the aforementioned heat treatment process. It’s heated and quenched, resulting in changes to its physical properties.
You may notice that through-hardened washers are smaller than most other washers. This is due to the fact that they are heat-treated. Heat treatment processes, such as hardened, can result in a smaller size. While through-hardened washers are harder than standard washers, most of them are smaller as well.
Benefits of Through-Hardened Washers
Because they undergo a hardened process during production, through-hardened washers offer a superior level of protection from damage. You don’t have to worry about them breaking or splitting under the weight of a load.
Through-hardened washers also offer a smooth surface. Hardening doesn’t just increase the strength of a washer; it removes any superficial imperfections on the bearing surface. As a washer is heated and quenched, it will become smoother.
Through-hardened washers offer a consistent quality. The heat treatment process used in their production allows for a uniform design.
If you’re planning to use them in environments where oil, fuel or other chemicals are a concern, you may want to choose through-hardened washers. Through-hardened washers are ideal for harsh environments such as this.