How to select fasteners for low temperature applications


Fasteners are essential components used in almost every industry, from construction to manufacturing. Various applications require the use of fasteners that can withstand different temperatures. In cases where fasteners are being used for low temperature applications, it is essential to select the right type of fastener to avoid losing strength, cracking, or even breaking.

Low temperature applications have unique considerations that must be made while selecting fasteners. This article will explore how to select fasteners for low temperature applications.

Understanding Low Temperature Applications

Before selecting fasteners for low temperature applications, it is essential to understand what a low-temperature application means. Low-temperature applications are typically those that operate below temperatures of -40 degrees Celsius or -40 degrees Fahrenheit.

Low temperatures can have a range of effects on fasteners. One of the primary concerns is that the fastener can become brittle and lose its strength. Additionally, metals may contract in low-temperature applications, leading to changes in the fasteners' dimensions.

Selecting Fasteners for Low-Temperature Applications

One of the most critical considerations while selecting fasteners for low-temperature applications is choosing the right material. Different materials can perform differently under low-temperature conditions.

1. Material Selection

Fasteners made from specific materials such as stainless steel, carbon steel, and alloy steel have varying degrees of temperature sensitivity. Stainless steel fasteners can be used in low temperature applications, but they may not be suitable for use in environments with prolonged exposure to low temperatures. This is because prolonged exposure to low temperatures can cause stainless steel fasteners to become brittle over time.

Carbon steel fasteners are generally not suitable for use in low-temperature applications. They tend to lose their strength and ductility at low temperatures, which can cause them to break, crack or even fracture.

Alloy steels can perform better than stainless steel or carbon steel in low-temperature applications. They are designed to have a high level of strength and ductility, which makes them ideal for use in low-temperature environments.

2. Coating Selection

Coating selection is another critical consideration when selecting fasteners for low-temperature applications. Fastener coatings can provide additional corrosion resistance, protection against environmental variables or chemicals, and even make the fasteners more durable under freezing conditions.

Coating types that are ideal for low-temperature environments include phosphate coated fasteners, zinc, and Xylan coated fasteners. These coatings have been shown to improve the resistance of fasteners to temperature and temperature changes.

3. Corrosion Resistance

Corrosion resistance in fasteners for low-temperature environments is vital. Low temperatures can cause the build-up of ice, water, and snow which can cause fasteners to rust and corrode. This can weaken the fastener, reducing its strength and performance over time.

Fasteners made from materials that are resistant to rust and corrosion, such as titanium alloys and nickel alloys, can perform better under low-temperature conditions.

4. Shape and Design Considerations

The shape of the fastener is also an important consideration when selecting fasteners for low-temperature environments. In cold weather conditions, fasteners that are small, cylindrical, or flat are less likely to retain heat than those that are large or complex in shape.

Additionally, threaded and metric fasteners tend to be more robust and less likely to break or fracture in low-temperature environments.

5. Considerations of the Application

Lastly, it's important to consider the specific application in which the fasteners will be used. The nature of the operation, the temperature range, the desired lifespan, and other environmental factors should be considered when selecting fasteners for low-temperature applications.


To select the right fasteners for low-temperature applications, it's paramount that the right type of materials, designs, and coatings be chosen. The right fasteners should be durable and not be sensitive to low-temperature conditions. Similarly, they should be resistant to rust and corrosion to retain their strength under varying environmental factors. By properly selecting fasteners for low-temperature applications, you enhance the operational stability of the project and ensure its durability in harsh conditions.


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