While fasteners are essential for securing two or more surfaces together, there are instances when specialized fasteners are required to improve connectivity between parts being joined. As fasteners vary in design, material, and application method, it is crucial that one understands how different fasteners work to provide an accurate assessment of parts when maintaining specialized equipment. Frequently referred to as a blind screw or grub screw, set screws are a particular type of fastener which can serve as a detent or be used to join two or more objects together. Simplifying processes by providing individuals with concise and easy-to-use solutions to what used to require complex solutions, set screws do not depend upon nuts, and are available in headless alternatives depending on where they are applied. Within this blog, we will discuss regularly used set screws and how each type functions, that way you may better understand such parts and when they should be considered in lieu of standard fasteners.
Ultimately chosen based on the type of point (tip) they harness, set screws are available in six common forms, those of which include cup point, conical point, oval point, extended point, flat point, and knurled cup point variations. Fabricated to be fastened with a variety of tools, set screws are routinely manufactured in straight slot, hex socket, square socket, external socket, external hex, external square, and Bristol spline drive styles; however, set screws are usually driven with an internal-wrenching drive. Often made from alloy steel and finished with case hardening to promote prolonged use, set screws come in a wide array of strengths. A diverse component generally implemented to secure parts like pulleys and gears to a shaft, there are a plethora of features engineers can take advantage of when using set screws.
Constructed with a rounded tip, cup point set screws are considered to be the most widely implemented among set screw types. Designed to provide more contact along the shaft when inserted into a prefabricated hole, the threading on cup point screws acts to grip surfaces once screwed in. As such, these screws are employed wherever screw shaft deformation is a possibility and must be avoided.
Designed with a cone-shape tip, conical point set screws are applied wherever lateral forces are small. Also known as a cone screw, its cone-shaped end features a pointed tip to easily allow the fastener to penetrate the surface of a material.
To reduce surface damage when applied, oval point set screws utilize a convex oval at one end. Typically applied where repeated adjustments of a standard fastener can damage the mating material, oval point set screws allow for adjustment without significantly damaging the insertion site.
Commonly referred to as dog point screws or pilot point screws, extended point screws feature a tubular tip to facilitate mating between a corresponding hole. When inserted, an extended point screw allows its shaft to rotate in place without dislodging the part.
Whenever lateral force is applied to a fastener at random, flat point set screws should be used. Built with a flat point to mitigate damage or deformation of materials where the fastener is applied, flat point set screws are ideal for applications that may require constant adjustments.
Knurled Cup Point
Often used to secure one object within another, knurled cup point set screws are equipped with a serrated ridge to minimize part rotation when exposed to vibrations. Utilizing the serrated ridge along the cup point, combined with counter-clockwise locking knurls which feature ratchet-locking capabilities, these fasteners promote digging actions to resist loosening when inflicted by vibrations.
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