When Do I Need Self-Clinching Hardware?

3 Things You Never Knew About Stainless Steel Fasteners
For more than 70 years, self-clinching hardware has been an invaluable tool when joining components to thin sheet metal. This technology is extremely versatile, with self-clinching fasteners including nuts, studs, spacers, and stand-offs. Once installed, these fasteners create permanent and sturdy threads in soft metals. As a result, self-clinching hardware is hard to remove or rotate.

How Do Self-Clinching Fasteners Work?

When self-clinching hardware is installed in a soft metal and tightened, it displaces the material around the mounting hole. As a result, this displaced material flows into recesses in the shank or pilot of the fastener. In addition, the fastener typically has a serrated clinching ring or other feature to prevent it from rotating once tightened. Once the fastener has been pressed into the material it’s fastening, a threaded screw is typically inserted and tightened for a permanent connection.

The only equipment needed for the installation of a self-clinching fastener is a parallel-acting press. The only requirement is that the force delivered by the press is adjustable. A hammer is an unsuitable tool for the job because the quick impact doesn’t allow the metal to cold flow into the hole.

When Can Self-Clinching Fasteners Be Used?

Self-clinching hardware is typically made from steel, stainless steel, or aluminum. To be installed properly, the fasteners must be harder than the panel, and the panel must be a ductile material. The panel the fastener is being installed into must also meet the fastener’s minimum thickness requirements. Some fasteners may be better suited for thinner materials, however, there is no maximum thickness.

What are the Benefits of Self-Clinching Hardware?

There’s a reason why self-clinching hardware has been a popular fastening choice for more than 70 years. Some of these reasons include:

  • Increased durability
  • Reducing the need for replacements
  • Permanent installation
  • Withstand heavy torque loads
  • Fewer steps for installment
  • Provides strong threads for attachments to thin metal sheets
  • Low installation costs
  • Reusable load-bearing threads
  • Accurate installation due to pre-existing holes

For these reasons, self-clinching fasteners are versatile and reliable fastening options for manufacturers across many industries.

If you’re looking to learn more about self-clinching fasteners, contact the experts at Monroe EFI. With decades of experience, we can help you find the right self-clinching hardware for any application.