Different Types of Self-Clinching Fasteners
Fasteners are mechanical devices that are tasked with joining two or more objects together. Often found in countless assemblies, they are integral components that are available in a number of types. Compact in design and with a low profile, we will be discussing self-clinching fasteners, a type of fastener used in a diverse set of applications.
Self-clinching fasteners are threaded nuts, studs, or standoffs that are machine-pressed into metal, often becoming a lasting part of a panel, enclosure, or bracket. They are popularly used for their ability to be securely mounted onto any surface or enclosure.
For the self-clinching nut variety, the screw typically fails before the nut can thread into the material at hand. Studs are another type which provides a permanently threaded screw that can be used for mounting and grounding components in an enclosure. Standoffs are defined by their ability to create space between two objects, and their internal thread allows you to mount a number of components. As there are so many variations of self-clinching fasteners, the next sections will provide a brief overview of the most common types.
A panel fastener requires no additional tools for installation and is typically installed on the exterior of a mounting component. These devices are equipped with a threaded stud on a spring that allows you to push and secure the fastener into a threaded receptacle. An advantage of these fasteners is that, even when it has been disengaged from its main nut, panel fasteners will remain secured to the panel.
Often called a tie-mount fastener, this type of self-clinching fastener allows you to organize and secure any loose wiring or cables in your assembly.
This type of fastener enables a printed circuit board or panel to be inserted into place with ease and is removed by sliding the board sideways and slipping it off.
A pilot pin is an unthreaded rod, usually utilized for locating components inside an enclosure.
Right-angle fasteners are distinguished in their ability to provide secure attachment points in sheet metal parts and enclosures. They are typically pressed into a rectangular mounting hole and are compatible with standard screws with metric or unified threads.
Miniature nuts are often used to position fasteners closer to the edge of a particular part and usually protrude out of the surface of sheet metal.
A floating nut is a low profile, lightweight fastener that allows looser tolerance in terms of hole placement. When the nut is not perfectly aligned, the thread can float over to receive the fastener.
Blind nuts are used to encapsulate threads, preventing foreign objects from entering the enclosure at hand.
This particular nut is installed flush with sheet metal and does not protrude on either side of an enclosure.
Nylon Insert Nut
A nylon insert nut contains a nylon inserted locking thread that increases friction with a screw to allow for secure locking.