An Introduction to a Lock Washer

  • Release date:26-01-2017
  • Abst:

    Lock washers help hold bolts in place by providing a li […]

    Lock washers help hold bolts in place by providing a little extra resistance or grip on the bolt and the nut to secure the bind. They have different shapes, some look like a split washer, others have flanges and still others actually have small teeth the compress and grip a bit.

    The lock washer avoids nuts and bolts turning, slipping and coming loose because of vibration and torque. Different lock washers do different functions although their basic function is to keep the nut and bolt in place. Some lock washers achieve this function by biting into the base material (bolt) and the nut with their ends.

    Most lock washers are comprised of aluminum, stainless steel, K-Monel, bronze, zinc, phosphor bronze alloy and carbon steel. The material used in manufacturing the lock washer is important in preventing it from breaking down, thereby losing its fastening strength.

    Measure the specific application to be worked upon as accurately as possible. You should know clearly whether there's enough space for a lock washer and if the added thickness of a lock washer impedes any mechanical action. Decide if a free-spinning lock washer (most common available) will fully meet your needs. It has two different kinds of free-spinning lock washers to select from. Lock spring washers are the simplest in design (they look like a broken washer) and are what most people call a "lock washer." They also provide the least protection against loosening. Internal lock washers look like a regular washer, with many small ridges on one side and provide a stronger hold than lock spring washers.

    Verify the pitch and thread count of the bolt in your application. This is easily accomplished by matching the nut or bolt with one of the same size either at the hardware store, or from a known source in your home. Decide if a more complex type of lock washer, such as a free spinning lock washer or a locking nut, will work better in your application. Free-spinning lock washers create friction when turned in the "loosening" direction which are embedded in the basic part of a nut. They create friction when turned in the "loosening" direction. Lock nuts are nuts that use the body of the nut itself as the washer, with a substance (metal or plastic) embedded within the nut's threads that provide extra friction to eliminate loosening. In either case, an exact match must be found between the old nut and the new complex lock washer/nut assembly in order for it to work properly.

    Measure the shank width of the bolt upon which you desire a tight connection. The lock washer should be sized so that there is very little room to move when placed on the shank of the bolt. Lock washers are always placed directly adjacent to the nut of the application. So if using a lock spring washer or an internal lock washer, place it over the shank of the bolt just prior to the nut attachment.

    Measure the thread size of the bolt if you are going to use a free spinning lock washer or a locking nut. It is important that these are sized with the exact same threads (sae or metric) so that the nut will tighten and hold as designed. The advantage of using this type device will disappear by an improper thread size.

    Torque the nut until it is tight using a wrench or, if available, a torque wrench set to the desired torque setting of the application. here will show you more information.