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Bolts VS. Screws: The Critical Differences and When to Use Them

Planning to complete a plant engineering project? Perhaps you’re looking for an option to fabricate a modular piping rack or a pipe support for your plant. The decision you’re faced with is whether you’ll require a bolt or a screw. Now, since each of these options are required for specific situations, it helps if you understand which materials, which applications, and which situations require a bolt, and which require a screw. If you’re finding it a challenge to know which one to select, this article will clarify this decision for you and ensure that you make the correct choice. It will also outline some exceptional-quality bolts that you can use, should your plant engineering project require them. Let’s begin.

What are screws?

Screws are sometimes referred to as fasteners that are versatile. Since they have threads, they offer the user a tight or strong grip when they are affixed and tightened. You may know that there are several different types of screws. There are screws of a large variety of shapes, types and sizes. There are also screws that should be used for different types of materials. For instance, there are screws that are ideal woodwork, some that are ideal for concrete, and other screws that are specifically designed for metal. Now, one thing to know about screws is that they are supposed to be self-tapping. This means that it can tap a hole for itself when the engineer drives it into the wood, or metal, or concrete. This doesn’t mean that you’ll never have to drill holes yourself before driving a screw into the material. Pilot holes are sometimes necessary. Bolts Vs. Screws - Differences & When To Use Bolts or Screws

When are screws required?

Since screws offer middle-range durability and support or holding ability, it’s recommended that you use screws for middle-range projects. This might include a DIY project, for instance, you might be putting a shelf up, or a cabinet, or a fence.  It’s also critical to recognize that screws are required for particular material types. If you have any of the following material types, a screw is ideal for this:
  • Planks of wood
  • Sheet metal
  • Plywood
  • Drywall
In an ideal world, screws shouldn’t be used for plant engineering projects, such as modular piping racks, piping supports, or pipe hangers. Continue reading to find out the best choice.

What are bolts?

So, now let’s turn our attention to bolts. A bolt is a superior fastening option and offer strength in abundance. To install them correctly, you’ll need a washer and a nut, where the washer ensures your load is distributed evenly across a bigger area and ensures the material remains intact, and the nut ensures the bolt doesn’t move. Of course, in a similar way to screws, nuts also have a vast range of sizes, shapes, and designs, and are compatible with particular material types, including concrete, metal, and wood. For this reason, it can be challenging to decide whether a bolt is required for your project, or whether a screw would be a better decision. What’s different about a bolt, however, is that bolts need a different type of tool to drive them into the material or take them out of the material. Certain tools that you could use to install bolts include a wrench, which might be pneumatic or a handheld type. You’ll find that bolts are for heavy-duty engineering projects—projects that require a huge amount of support or strength since bolts belong to the upper-range of holding or support power.

When are bolts required?

For this reason, a bolt is generally ideal for projects such as modular piping support or engineering projects such as installing a pipe hanger, and this is because they must support the load and weight of the pipe. Bolts are also required for particular material types. Use a bolt if you are using the following material types:
  • Concrete
  • Metal
  • Thick beams

How are screws and bolts different?

To put an ever finer point on it, you’ll notice two key differences between screws and bolts. Whereas screws can be self-tapping, a bolt must use a nut, which is the main component that secures it and prevents it from moving. The other point to take note of is the cost. You can expect to pay more for a bolt than you would do for a screw. It’s essential to also recognize that bolts are much more durable than screws because they have a few more components to them, namely, the nut and the washer.

What is the ideal fastener for a modular pipe rack?

If you’re wondering whether to use a screw or a bolt for a modular pipe rack, a pipe hanger, or a piping support structure, the best fastener is a bolt. There are so many reasons why bolts are the optimal choice for projects like these. Not only are they more robust, but they also ensure that the weight of the pipes is evenly distributed throughout the modular pipe rack. Screw systems, on the other hand, can be considered cheaper options that, in many cases, are not the ideal choice; despite their self-tapping ability, they don’t have the strength or robustness that bolts can offer for a heavy-duty engineering project. [video width="1920" height="1080" mp4=""][/video]

MEFA: Exceptional quality T-lock head bolts and heavy-duty fasteners

So, there is no doubt that bolts and bolting systems are ideal for plant engineering projects. The question is, where can you obtain a top, heavy-duty fastener for your project? The exceptional quality of MEFA’s toothed T-lock head bolts and T-bolts with steel disks are the perfect option for your piping support project. Not only do the toothed T-lock head bolts support 10 kN, they have industrial-strength form-locking washers that ensure the bolts don’t move. The T-bolts which have steel disks, also provided by MEFA, are the top choice for plant engineering projects such as affixing rails. They use a frictional connection. MEFA’s bolts have been specifically designed for profile rails of different sizes. You can select between XL 80, XL 100, XL 120, and XL 200 sizing increments. One thing to keep in mind about MEFA’s bolts is that they have a zinc-nickel top surface coating as well. This prevents them from being corroded or sustaining any weather damage.

Choose bolts for your plant engineering project: Select MEFA’s quality range

If you are about to begin a plant engineering project or need to fabricate a piping support structure for your plant, one of the most superior quality fasteners is the bolt. And one of the most superior plant engineering support solutions manufacturers is MEFA. The bolts provided by MEFA are robust, hot-dip galvanized, immovable, and effortless to install. Find out more about the bolts offered by MEFA and learn more about their exceptional quality at Select superiority. Select the best in the industry.

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