Security fasteners are available in a range of different materials. However, the most common variety are stainless steel security screws. Here we take a look why stainless steel plays such a crucial role in the security fastener industry.
Stainless screws – longer lasting security fasteners
Security fasteners are so-called because their sole purpose is to provide a secure fitting for an application. This can be for any number of purposes, from installing children’s play equipment in a park to ensuring that safety railings or barriers remain in place. In order for security screws to do their job effectively, they need to last. This is why the material used for security fasteners is so important.
Stainless steel has become the standard metal used to manufacture security screws. The strength of the material means they don’t easily break, so there is no doubt that the fitting will be secure. It also offers a solution for a multitude of applications, both inside and out, thanks to its corrosion-resistant properties. Wet weather conditions can cause many metals to corrode, leaving the application that they are used on vulnerable when they are damaged to such an extent that they are no longer effective. Stainless steel security screws won’t suffer the same damage when exposed to the elements. They therefore last longer and can be relied upon to provide a more secure installation.
The different types of stainless steel used in security screws
There are various types of stainless steel, which fall into different categories based on their chemical properties. The type that is most commonly used for security fasteners is A2, also known as type 304. This usually contains 18% chromium and 8% nickel and is widely used for the purpose of security fittings due to its high resistance to corrosion and environmental conditions.
A4 stainless steel, or type 316, is also used for security fittings, but less commonly and so generally products in this material are manufactured to order. It contains molybdenum in addition to chromium and nickel, giving it a higher resistance to pitting corrosion that is caused by chloride. Chloride is found in salt, so A4 stainless steel is an ideal material to use in applications that will be exposed to salty air by the sea.
Alternatives to stainless screws?
Zinc plated security fittings are available as an alternative to stainless steel security screws. However, it is worth considering your application before you make your choice.
Many people assume that zinc plated fasteners are cheaper than the standard stainless steel screws. This is not necessarily the case, as stainless steel fittings are much more widely available as an off the shelf solution. Zinc plated fasteners often need to be made to order, which can cost more than a standard option. Even if the size you are looking for is available off the shelf, manufacturers tend to sell them in larger quantities to make producing them more cost-effective, so you may find that you have to purchase more than you really need.
Another point to note when looking at plated screws is that the plating is usually only a very thin layer over a steel screw. This is applied to prevent rust which could be potentially very damaging to the fittings. However, this coating can wear away quickly, particularly in an outdoor environment, where the screw is open to the elements. A standard plated fitting will not withstand corrosion in the same way that stainless steel can, so will eventually become ineffective as a security fastener meaning that they need to be replaced more regularly, so any money saved purchasing them over a stainless steel option would soon be lost if they were to be used outside.
Fastenright Stainless Steel Security Screws
We supply a wide range of security screws,many of which are manufactured from A2 stainless steel as standard, with A4 as an option for special requirements.
If you would like more information about choosing stainless steel screws, please contact us. Our team is always happy to offer advice and guidance to help you find the right security fasteners for your application.