Not all washers are made of metal. While you can certainly find washers made of aluminum, steel, brass and other types of metals and alloys, washers are available in nylon. Nylon washers are commonly used in the aerospace manufacturing industry. With their synthetic polymer construction, they offer several advantages over metal washers.
What Are Nylon Washers?
Nylon washers are ring-shaped fasteners made of nylon. Like all washers, they are typically used to distribute the load of a threaded fastener, such as a bolt. Only nylon washers, though, are made of nylon. Nylon is a synthetic polymer that’s comprised of polyamides. Manufacturers use this synthetic polymer material to create nylon washers.
Advantages of Nylon Washers
When compared to metal washers, nylon washers offer several advantages. They are better at absorbing noise, for instance. Nylon washers have a more elastic construction than their metal counterparts. Metal washers are completely hard and rigid, so they aren’t able to absorb noise. Noise will typically travel through metal washers with little or no resistance. Nylon washers are more elastic. Therefore, they are better at absorbing noise than metal washers.
Nylon washers are also durable. They will last a long time — even when exposed to pressure. Furthermore, nylon washers won’t rust. Rusting is a phenomenon that requires iron and oxygen. When iron is exposed to oxygen, it will rust. There is no iron in nylon, so nylon washers are immune to rusting.
Nylon washers are considered low-friction fasteners. In other words, they don’t produce a lot of friction. When you add a washer over the end of a bolt, it will produce friction. As the washer moves against the bolt, friction is produced. But nylon washers produce very little friction.
Things to Consider When Shopping for Nylon Washers
You should consider the size when shopping for nylon washers. All nylon washers are ring-shaped fasteners, but they are available in different sizes. Pay attention to the hole diameter and the overall diameter. The hole diameter represents the size of the hole in the center of a nylon washer. The overall diameter represents the total diameter size of a nylon washer, including both the hole and the solid outer ring.
Some nylon washers are thicker than others. Generally speaking, thick nylon washers are more durable and able to absorb more noise than thin nylon washers. They consume more space, but thick nylon washers are better suited for many fastening applications.