When you think of hardware washers, you likely think of metallic or polymer discs. Hard materials like metal are often used for washer construction due to their strength and durability, but you may not realize that fiber washers are a very useful type of washer that is utilized across a variety of industries. The automotive industry uses fiber washers often to dampen vibrations, and fiber washers can also be found in electronic machinery where electrical conductivity can be an issue.
You might also not know that fiber washers aren’t that hard to find. You can specify fiber washers from Superior Washer online today and have them shipped to your door. Ordering online is usually easier than visiting your local hardware store since retail locations often carry limited inventory. Superior Washer provides access to a variety of different sizes of fiber flat washers and is one of the go-to fiber washers suppliers on the web.
Fiber Washers Resist Corrosion
One of the biggest reasons for using fiber washers is that they typically resist corrosion and other damage when exposed to chemical agents, liquids and more. Metal and even hard polymers are more prone to experience damage due to chemical exposure, and this can eat away at the stability of the material and its effectiveness. Flat fiber washers can also be vulcanized for added durability against exposure to chemical agents and liquids.
As an added bonus, fiber washers can sometimes be soaked in water prior to seating in order to aid in their flexibility. This can help you form a fiber washer into a specific shape for a better fit. Metal and polymer washers can’t do this, and in fact, they are more prone to breakage when trying to fit them into tight spaces.
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Abrasion And Impact Resistance
Fiber washers are useful in applications where abrasions must be kept to a minimum and impact risk is high. When using traditional metal washers, impacts caused by physical force or by vibrations can cause the washer to become damaged, warped and loose. When using fiber washers, impacts are typically minimized. This also adds a sound-dampening quality to fiber washers that can reduce unwanted noise.
Abrasions can also happen over time due to vibrations and impacts. Even small movements of pressurized fasteners can lead to scrapes, cuts, gouges and other damage to surfaces. This may not be a huge problem for industrial equipment that is designed to take a beating, but for delicate electronic equipment, this kind of damage may result in much bigger concerns. This is especially true over time as small scratches can add up over the years to result in major damage.
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Fiber Resists Expansion And Contraction
One of the biggest issues with using metal washers in outdoor equipment or equipment that is subject to temperature fluctuations is expansion and contraction. These changes can affect how tightly a fastener seals a connection, and over time, may lead to damage and failure. Because fiber washers do not expand or contract like metal and even some hard polymers, they are perfect for use with equipment that is exposed to the elements.
As mentioned above, metallic washers can be a problem in electronic devices. What’s more, arc conductivity is another consideration even if metal is not touching electrical connections directly. An electrical arc occurs when electricity is close enough to a conductive piece of material that an arc forms in the air. By using fiber washers, you can often minimize the chances for arcs to occur, thereby potentially making a piece of equipment safer to handle.