How to select fasteners for high-pressure applications


Fasteners are crucial components in many industries, especially those that involve high-pressure applications. These fasteners ensure that systems and structures can withstand the pressure of fluids and gases that pass through them.

However, selecting the right fasteners can be challenging, especially if you are not well versed with their technical specifications. Here is a comprehensive guide on how to select fasteners for high-pressure applications.

1. Understanding the Function of Fasteners in High-Pressure Applications

Fasteners serve two critical functions in high-pressure applications. Firstly, they help to hold parts together. Without fasteners, parts of a structure or system will come apart and cause failures.

Secondly, fasteners also help to create a seal. In high-pressure applications, fluids and gases can escape through gaps in the system. Sealed fasteners minimize or stop the flow of fluids and gases, reducing the risk of fluid or gas leaks.

2. Selecting the Right Fastener Material

The material used to manufacture fasteners is critical in determining the performance of the fastener in a high-pressure application. Here are some common materials used in fastener manufacturing:

- Stainless Steel

Stainless steel is a popular material for high-pressure fasteners. It is corrosion-resistant, which is essential in applications involving high-pressure and corrosive fluids.

- Alloy Steel

Alloy steel is a strong and durable material used in high-pressure applications. It has high strength, toughness, and resistance to corrosion and wear.

- Titanium

Titanium is a lightweight and corrosion-resistant material that is ideal for high-pressure applications. It is twice as strong as aluminum but about 45% lighter than steel.

3. Determining the Strength of Fasteners

In high-pressure applications, fasteners are exposed to a significant amount of stress. It is essential to ensure that the fastener you select is strong enough to withstand the stress.

The strength of a fastener is determined by its tensile strength, yield strength, and elongation. Tensile strength is the maximum amount of stress a fastener can withstand before breaking. Yield strength is the point where a fastener permanently deforms under stress. Elongation is the degree a fastener can stretch before breaking.

Before selecting a fastener, ensure that you understand the application's required strength and that the fastener meets the application's strength requirements.

4. Choosing the Right Thread Type

Fasteners have different thread types, and it is crucial to select the right type for your application. The three most common thread types for high-pressure applications are:

- UN thread

The UN thread is a standard universal thread type used in many applications. It is known for being widely available, easy to manufacture and provides a high level of friction.

- NPT thread

The NPT thread is a tapered thread typically used in pipe fittings. It provides a tight seal in high-pressure applications and is easy to install.

- BSPP thread

The BSPP thread is a British standard thread type used in many hydraulic applications. It has a flat seal, which provides a tight seal in high-pressure applications.

5. Taking into Account the Operating Conditions

The operating conditions of an application are essential in selecting the correct fastener. The temperature, humidity, and corrosion resistance requirements of an application must be considered to ensure that the chosen fastener will perform optimally in the application.

For example, if an application involves high temperatures, a fastener that can withstand high heat should be selected. Similarly, if an application involves corrosive fluids, a fastener that is corrosion-resistant should be selected.

In conclusion, selecting the right fastener for high-pressure applications is critical. Understanding the function of fasteners, selecting the right material, checking the strength, choosing the right thread type, and considering the application's operating conditions are essential in selecting the correct fastener. By following these guidelines, you can ensure that your application runs safely and efficiently.


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