What are Nylon Screws?
When one thinks of a screw, the image likely brought up is that of a common steel fastener often seen in general applications. However, there are many different materials employed in screw designs, each used for specific applications. One of the most peculiar materials used in screw technology is nylon, the same material found in clothing and other fabrics. In this blog, we will be discussing the properties that make nylon screws special, as well as some of their practical applications.
Nylon was first successfully synthesized in February of 1935 by a chemist working for DuPont laboratories. This new polymer was immediately lauded for its elasticity and strength. The first widespread uses of nylon were in nylon-bristled toothbrushes and women's stockings, both of which became commercial successes. In World War II, nylon was used extensively to produce parachutes and parachute cords. The unique physical characteristics of nylon, including its durability, corrosion resistance, and abrasion resistance, enable it to be used in various commercial and industrial applications.
Nylon screws have become one of the most purchased fastener types in the industry, making up an ever-increasing part of the market. They come in the same configurations as metal screws, sharing the same length and head options. In addition, nylon screws are generally cheaper pound for pound compared to materials like aluminum and steel. However, one design feature unique to nylon screws is their narrower threading profile, which reduces radial stress. Also, nylon fasteners are becoming more popular because of their environmentally friendly profile, using only 10-15% of the oil used to create other metal fasteners.
Nylon screws can be used in a wide variety of applications, but there are some particular places where they are almost always chosen exclusively. For example, home appliances, electronics, and large commercial machines all utilize nylon screws in their fastening. Additionally, nylon screws are commonly used in construction to fasten materials like particleboard, metal, wood, and plastic together.
There are several reasons to choose a nylon screw over those constructed from traditional metals. Primarily, they are much more lightweight as compared to a common steel screw. Their difference may be negligible when only holding a few, but becomes greater when considering that hundreds of screws may be used in a given application. Moreover, nylon is naturally resistant to corrosion, making its use attractive in applications where the material is constantly exposed to the atmosphere. Also, nylon has superior insulating properties, which is one of the reasons it is so commonly used in electrical appliances. Finally, nylon screws can easily conform to the shape of the object to which they are attached, making them more forgiving than steel types.
As attractive as nylon screws are, there are certain situations in which their use is inappropriate. Nylon attracts water molecules from the surrounding materials, which can collect and degrade the polymer over time. Furthermore, nylon has poor UV resistance and can deteriorate,becoming brittle over time when steadily exposed to sunlight. Moreover, nylon l lacks extreme temperature resistance, Whereas metal screws can be readily utilized in applications such as ovens; nylon's maximum operating temperature is 223°F.
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