Newest FAQs

Hex Bolts vs. Hex Cap Screws

What are the differences between a hex cap screw and a hex bolt?

These terms are often incorrectly used interchangeably. The most basic difference between a cap screw and a bolt is the way in which these fasteners are installed. Technically, a bolt is installed by turning a nut to tighten the fastener, while a cap screw in installed by turning the head of the bolt to assemble... Read more

Lag Screw Shear Strength

How do I determine the shear capacity and strength of lag screws?

Unfortunately, we have no specific data to answer this question. First, “standard” lag bolts that are readily available in the marketplace are ungraded, meaning they are not manufactured to any ASTM specification and have no verifiable mechanical requirements. Therefore, it is impossible to determine the strength characteristics of a lag screw unless they are custom... Read more

Grade 55 Steel Properties

Can I use ASTM 108 Round Bar, a CF-1018 round bar, for F1554 Grade 55?

The problem with ASTM A108, 1018CF is that there are no mechanical requirements and typically the test reports that accompany this steel reflect the chemistry only and not the strength of the steel. Test reports will need to accompany this material that reflect all four of the values listed below, and these values will need... Read more

Malleable Iron Washer Details

What are the purposes for the different components in malleable iron washers (MIW)

For many years a malleable iron washer has been a common component in heavy timber and marine construction. With a large bearing surface and thick cast design they help prevent the bolt head or nut from pulling through wood connections. There are two common types of MIW. One style of malleable washer is produced in... Read more

Rotational Capacity Testing

What is rotational capacity (ROCAP) testing?

Per ASTM A325 section 6.3.1, the rotational capacity test is defined as a test, “that is intended to evaluate the presence of a lubricant, the efficiency of the lubricant, and the compatibility of assemblies as represented by the components selected for testing.” In a 1970 study referenced by the Research Council on Structural Connections (RCSC),... Read more

Grade C Eliminated From ASTM A307

What happened to ASTM A307 Grade C?

One change with regard to specifications that will have a significant impact on the construction fastener industry is the August 2007 elimination of the grade C designation within the ASTM A307 specification. ASTM A307 is the standard specification for low carbon steel construction fasteners. Until recently, A307 had three grades A, B, and C. Grade... Read more

SAE Grade 8 vs ASTM A490

What are the differences in strength and application between SAE Grade 8 and ASTM A-490?

In some respects SAE J429 grade 8 bolts and ASTM A490 bolts are similar, and in other respects they are different. The first thing to address is the fact that these specifications are covered by different organizations. SAE (Society of Automotive Engineers) covers bolts for automotive, equipment, and OEM applications, whereas ASTM (American Society for... Read more

ASTM Letter Designations

What do the letters at the beginning of an ASTM standard signify?

Every ASTM standard is identified by a unique designation. It includes a capital letter (A – H), followed by a serial number ranging from one to four digits, a dash, and finally the year of issue. For example, a common bolt specification is A449 – 07a, although when specified the standard’s year designation is usually... Read more

Metric Bolts – We Convert

Do you manufacture metric bolts?

All bolts we manufacture are made to imperial measurements. The primary reason for this is because the steel used to make bolts is milled to imperial sizes. Even though metric measurements are almost exclusively used internationally, most raw materials are only available domestically in inches. Often projects, such as highways, bridges, and power plants specify... Read more

Clevis Pin Question

When using a clevis pin and using a cotter pin, or a spring pin, or a spring clip, or a retaining ring to capture the outer end, my practice has always been to place a washer under the retaining device to discourage deformation and/or loss of the retaining device due to rotation of the clevis pin. Who agrees out there?

It seems like this question is directed toward clevis pins that are used to connect control assemblies, linkages and perhaps hinges. In these applications where rotation of the clevis pin is anticipated, I agree that a washer would protect the retaining device from possible ‘side effects’ of the rotation. In the case of pins that... Read more