Screws are a ubiquitous part of our life. We find them almost everywhere — our doors, furniture, electronics and more. A screw may be used to hold together materials of the same type, as in furnishing. Or it may be used to hold together two very different types of material, such as a drywall and wood. The most popular materials for screws are steel and brass.
Brass has been used for centuries to make screws. As a type of fastener, we are all familiar with screws. The most common of screws we see around us are wood screws and machine screws. Brass is one of the most commonly used material for screws. Screws come in many types and are usually classified according to the screw head. While traditionally made screws are still used today, brass machine screws are preferred for their precision and strength.
Some of the commonly found types of screws are:
- Wood screws: These screws have a smooth shank with a tapered point to be used in wood.
- Machine screws: These contain threads to be used with a nut.
- Sheet metal screws: Fully threaded, these screws end in a point to be used with sheet metal.
- Self Drilling SMS: This is a sheet metal screw which has a self drilling point.
- Thread cutting machine screws: These are machine screws with a thread cutting point.
- Carriage bolts: It has a square cross-section at the point and a smooth round head.
- Hex bolts: Named after its hexagonal head, this bolt has threads to be used with a nut or a tapped hole.
- Lag bolts: These bolts have a pointed tip and wood threads.
- Socket screws: Also known as Allen screws, these can be fastened only with an Allen wrench.
- Elevator bolts: Used in the elevator or conveyor system, these bolts have a flat round head.
Uses of brass screws:
Woodworking: Brass screws are widely used in woodworking because of their aesthetic appeal, durability and resistance to corrosion. With its dull gold lustre, the brass screw are ideal for use in furniture. Where screws are visible, as in furniture, the aesthetic appeal is a high consideration. In most cases, wood is drilled and then a screw is inserted. However, there are also self-drilling screws. The main criteria here is to avoid splintering of the wood.
Marine: Brass machine screws are used widely in marine installations, carriers and other such structures. Brass has always been the preferred elements when dealing with marine structures because of its high resistance to seawater. Unlike other metals it does not react adversely to the saltwater content and has a long life in an environment that is inherently hostile.
Machines: The reason we find brass so common here is because of their precision and high customisation. Machinery relies on parts that are manufactured specifically as per a design. This is important to achieve precision and to see that the parts fit smoothly together. Apart from the functionality of the final piece, this is also a critical safety feature in certain machines.
Benefits of Brass Machine Screws
Cost effective: Brass is an inherently cost effective material. It is cheaper than many of its alternatives. Its highly recyclable, which adds to its overall economy of usage. Brass screws are also easy to machine, which adds to their cost effectiveness.
Durable: Brass has a high resistance to a number of environmental factors like moisture, temperature changes and heat. It does not rust or wear and tear easily. In other words, your brass screws will very often outlive the structure that they are supporting!
Easy to machine: Brass is highly ductile. It is easy to shape it into billets that are then given any desired shape. It is also a soft metal, which adds to the ease in machining. Barring a few exceptions, brass does not even need cutting fluid. The ease of machining means that working with brass takes less time, effort and ultimately, money.
Precision: The reason we prefer brass machine screws is because of its high precision. In machining we use a software to ensure that the screw adheres to the exact specifications of a design. As mentioned above, this is a critical element when designing a machine. It allow us to build complex and highly detailed machinery, aiding innovation and design.