Learning More About Lock Washers

In its most basic form, a washer is a component used to distribute the load of a threaded bolt. There are a number of washers used in the aerospace industry, one of which includes lock washers. Designed to securely fasten nuts and bolts in place, in addition to distributing a load, lock washers are metallic fasteners that come in a variety of materials like stainless steel, aluminum, bronze, and phosphor bronze. Used among many assemblies, they are available in many subtypes, such as split washers and star washers, and they effectively prevent nuts and bolts from turning, slipping, or coming loose due to vibration. As typical nuts have the potential to loosen as a result of vibration, lock washers are designed as another layer of protection, preventing vibration and torque from knocking a bolt out of place due to its physical properties.

Of the many versions, the most common type of lock washer is the helical lock washer, also called a split washer. It consists of a ring-shaped mechanism with two uneven ends that are offset from one another, and these two ends grip the fastener so that it cannot turn. Another type is the internal-tooth washer, which has teeth inside of the ring so that they come into contact with the fasteners near the head to keep it in place. On the other hand, an external-tooth washer features teeth outside of the ring, making it perfect for use with fasteners that have large heads. Moreover, applications that require more torque tend to require pyramidal lock washers, while dome-type washers are reserved for use with thin or soft materials as they distribute the load over a larger area with ease. Finally, lower torque applications require dish lock washers. 

When and How to Use Lock Washers

Lock washers are necessary in any instance where there is a risk of fasteners coming loose, such as with manufacturing cars, planes, and marine vessels where there is a great deal of vibration. When nuts and bolts have the potential to be shaken loose, lock washers offer the additional security they require to stay in place. 

Though there are numerous types of lock washers, they all work similarly. For instance, lock washers exert a downward force toward the surface of the object in which they are installed, and this force secures the bolt to the respective object so that it does not loosen. They also perform similarly to springs and can store mechanical energy while exerting a force from this mechanical energy. Often used with a nut, lock washers can be slid over the exposed shank of a bolt, which can then be secured with a nut. When the nut is twisted onto the shank, it presses against the lock washer, which then exerts a downward force that keeps the bolt from loosening. 

Where to Find Quality Lock Washers

If you happen to be on the lookout for top-quality lock washers and more, you can trust in Integrated Jet Parts, where we are fully committed to our customers. We boast an inventory of more than 2 billion new, used, obsolete, and hard-to-find components that serve a variety of industry verticals, all of which are available for your purchase at any time. As a part of our commitment to quality, we choose to source all of our inventory from leading global manufacturers featured on our Approved Vendor List (AVL). Moreover, countless parts are subject to varying levels of quality assurance measures prior to shipment to guarantee their fit, form, and function. As a part of our strict NO CHINA SOURCING policy, we also ship out all parts alongside their applicable manufacturing trace documentation for your benefit. Begin the procurement process with us today by giving us a call or email, or you can simply fill out an Instant RFQ form to request a quote for your comparisons. Our team is ready to assist you however we can as your strategic sourcing partner! 


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