Author Archives Bossard

How the Titanic and the Iceberg Relates to Fasteners

Titanic Fasteners

When thinking about the tragedy of the Titanic, it is common to remember one of the major causes of its sinking: the iceberg. An iceberg is deceiving as it hides about 85% of itself below the surface of the water, making one believe that it is much smaller than it really is. The same can be said for the true cost of a fastener.

Factors of Fastener Cost

Fastener costs that can often be hidden below the surface may be labeled as an “activity cost”:

  • Purchasing
  • Receiving
  • Quality control
  • Put on stock
  • Picking and preparation
  • Checking invoices/payments
  • Yearly stocktaking

These activities have a cost associated with them for each part number in your Bill of Materials (BOM). By reducing part numbers in your BOM, you can cut your total fastener cost considerably. Don’t let your ship sink! Check out the Bossard Cost Savings Calculator, which allows you to calculate your potential savings by making Bossard your preferred supplier. Contact us at for help chipping away at your iceberg!


Doug Jones
Applications Engineer

November 09, 2018
Read More

5 Benefits of Buying Fasteners from a Distributor

Fastener Distributor or Manufacturer

It may be tempting to buy fasteners directly from manufacturers strictly based on piece price, but before you commit to a source, keep in mind some of the benefits of using a good distributor.

Benefits of Using a Distributor

  1. Volumes – Most manufacturers have MOQs (minimum order quantities) of 2,000 pounds per order. Fasteners are produced from coils of steel, which are generally 2,000 pounds in weight. Splitting a coil is not cost effective, so MOQs are established. Distribution often buys the larger lot sizes of standard parts and may stock them for re-selling in smaller quantities.
  2. Packaging – Distributors are often more flexible on package types and quantities. For the best pricing, many manufacturers prefer to ship in bulk containers which require repackaging.
  3. Delivery – Scheduled delivery quantities and dates may be negotiated rather than bulk shipments.
  4. Stocking – Many distributors offer programs to bring the fasteners right to your assembly line and monitor your inventory for you.
  5. Design Help – A good distributor will have fastener experts on staff that can help design engineers select the proper fasteners, troubleshoot problems with assembly, and make recommendations for cost savings.

If you are not getting the support you need from your fastener supplier, contact us at

Doug Jones
Applications Engineer

November 02, 2018
Read More

What Are Conflict Minerals and How Does It Impact Fasteners?

Conflict Minerals for Fasteners

What are conflict minerals? The term conflict minerals has been popping up more and more in the fastener industry. The term comes from the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act that was passed by US Congress in July 2010. There are four elements referred to in this act: Tin, Tantalum, Tungsten and Gold – otherwise referred to as 3TG. The income from trading these minerals that originate from certain illegally controlled mines are used to finance armed conflict in the DRC (Democratic Republic of Congo) and the surrounding region.

Conflict-Free Sourcing Initiative

In an effort to prevent conflict minerals from entering the global market, the Conflict-Free Sourcing Initiative (CFSI) has created a Conflict Minerals Reporting Template (CMRT) to collect information related to conflict minerals and raise awareness for companies who choose to participate.

Most standard fasteners do not contain any of the four minerals listed, but there are some exceptions. Bossard is committed to supporting the Dodd-Frank Consumer Protection Act. For more information, contact us at


Doug Jones
Applications Engineer

October 26, 2018
Read More

4 Types of Thread Forming Screws for Your Applications

Thread Forming Screws

Thread forming screw is a generic term for any type of screw that forms its own threads into the mating material. The obvious advantage to thread forming screws is the elimination of nuts or a taping operation, which can save money and/or reduce the amount of parts used. Another lesser known advantage to using thread forming screws is to resist vibration loosening. Because these screws make their own mating threads, there are no gaps between the male and female threads which are a big contributing cause to vibration loosening.

Thread Forming Options

When considering implementing thread forming screws, there are different types of screws and threads for different situations:

1. Thin steel

Generally referred to as tapping screws, these fasteners have wide spaced threads and a sharp point which help to locate holes and to assemble quickly. Not designed to support high loads, these screws are a workhorse in the appliance industry and in heating and cooling applications that use sheet metal. Within this group of tapping screws, there are some specialty parts that work well with very thin sheet metal which is prone to stripping screws and holes very easily.

2. Thicker steel

Thread rolling screws are designed for thicker steel up to two times the screw’s diameter. These screws have the same standard machine screw pitch and geometry as a course threaded bolt, but the lead threads are specially designed and hardened to form threads into ductile steel. Many different versions of thread rolling screws exist, all designed to facilitate low driving torque and high stripping torque. Hole size and preparation can be very critical to the design of these joints.

3. Lightweight alloys, such as aluminum and magnesium

Like thread rolling screws for steel, these screws have modified thread geometry to increase the pull-out force in lighter alloys with lower yield strength. Hole size and length of thread engagement are key to the strength of these joints.

4. Plastic

Plastics have a wide range of strength and elasticity from thermoplastic to thermoset plastic. Designers often turn to threaded inserts for joints in this material, but in many cases direct assembly into the plastic can be a real time and cost savings. Several options for thread forming screws into plastic exist depending on your materials and joint requirements.


For recommendations on thread forming screws for your next project, contact us at

Doug Jones
Applications Engineer

October 19, 2018
Read More

Quick Guide: RoHS for Fasteners

RoHS for Fasteners

RoHS stands for Restriction of Hazardous Substances, also known as Directive 2002/95/EC. Originating in Europe, this directive was written to restrict specific materials found in electrical and electronic components. Restricted materials are lead, mercury, cadmium, hexavalent chromium, polybrominated biphenyls, polybrominated diphenyl ethers and four different phthalates.

Restriction of Hazardous Substances

  • RoHS 2 expands the scope of RoHS slightly, along with changes to the record keeping requirements. No additional materials have been added, but the categories of medical devices and control and monitoring instruments are now included.
  • RoHS 3 adds four materials (phthalates) to the original RoHS restricted list.
  • RoHS 5/6 requires compliance to five of the six original restricted materials, eliminating the compliance for lead.

Visit our website for more information on fastener compliance to RoHS and corporate social responsibility. Contact us directly at with any questions regarding RoHS or fastener quality standards.

Doug Jones
Applications Engineer

October 12, 2018
Read More

How to Use Dowel Pins to Reduce Weight

Dowel Pins

Dowel pins are great for aligning, but in a world where light weighting is becoming more and more pivotal, there may be some alternatives to the standard hardened and ground dowel pin.

The first option to review is if a fully ground and hardened dowel pin is necessary. Can a similar result be achieved with a pin that does not require as much processing and hole preparation?

Looking at a simpler way to align mating components may not only be a way to reduce weight in the completed assembly, but also a way to reduce total cost. The alternative to a reamed hole with a dowel pin is to use a counter bored hole with a hollow dowel pin which a bolt or screw can pass through. This is a very effective way to combine functions of the drilled hole required for the dowel pin and the fastener required for clamping the parts together.

Hollow Dowel Pins & Split Dowel Pins

Hollow dowel pins work for many applications and have some benefits associated with them. They can be used to reduce the tolerance required on the mating hole as well as reduce overall weight. Hollow dowel pins can also come with a split in them. This split offers some advantages over seamless hollow dowel pins. Split dowel pins are easier to manufacture than seamless hollow dowels and can be used with a tolerance zone that isn’t as tight as standard dowel pins.

Another great alternative for plastic parts is barbed pins. These allow the material flow around the barbs to lock in place. If a pin needs to be locked into metal, this can be done with a knurled pin or a grooved pin. Both of these pins can act as a pivot and can also be used for locating purposes.

For more information about dowel pins and how they can be used in your application, contact us at

Brandon Bouska
Application Engineer

October 05, 2018
Read More

4 Handy Tips from an Engineer for Using Washers

Washer Selection

When designing joints with washers, it is important to understand and use the correct washer for the job. Below are a few tips for making a good selection:

1. When using flat washers, match washer hardness with bolt and/or nut hardness to avoid joint settling.

  • 140 HV ≤ 8
  • 200 HV ≤ 8
  • 300 HV ≤ 9

2. Split lock washers are not intended for use with hardened bolts/nuts, only with property class ≤ 8.

Washer 1

3. Toothed lock washers are designed to permit electric current flow between components, and do not provide much of a locking feature. They are also only used for low property class ≤ 8.

Washer 2

4. Specialty washers exist for high strength joints, for example:

  • Rip-Lok – designed for property class 8.8
  • Conical spring washer with serrations on top

Washer 3

  • Schnorr washer – designed for property class 10.9
  • Small OD conical spring washer with serrations on both sides

Washer 4

For more details on selecting the correct washers for your application, checkout or send us an email at

Doug Jones
Applications Engineer

September 28, 2018
Read More

4 Recommendations for Installing Self-Drilling Screws

Self Drilling Screws

Self-drilling screws are unique, multi-functional screws. They are designed to drill its own hole into metal and then form threads into the hole. Often used for attachment of steel siding or roofing, they can also be used in other applications where a premade hole is not possible or convenient. While these screws can be a great solution for your application, here are 4 things to keep in mind:

1. Length of Drill Flute

The length of the drill flute must be longer than the thickness of the material being drilled. If the material is too thick, the chips cannot escape, which will cause excessive heat and damage to the screw or mating material. The point length must be long enough to complete the drilling operation before threading starts, otherwise damage may occur.

2. Thread Pitch

For thinner sheet metal applications, a coarse thread (wider thread spacing) is recommended. For thicker metal, (3/8 to 1/2″ thick) a fine thread will work better, creating less drive torque.

3. Thread Length

The thread length of the screw should be sufficient to fully engage into the base metal, keeping in mind that the first few threads are not fully formed. Two to three threads should show on the back side of the base material.

4. Installation Tools

Specialty-corded and cordless tools are available specifically for drill screws which run up to 2500 RPMs for fast setting of screws. Standard drills or drivers may be used as well, but impact drivers are not recommended for hard joint applications that are considered structural. Depth gages are often incorporated into the nose of the tool to disengage the head after it has been properly set. Some tools may also have an adjustable clutch that will allow for proper setting torque.

Do you have an aluminum or stainless-steel application which requires corrosion resistant self-drilling screws? Checkout our ecosyn®-MRX screw!

Looking for a self drilling screw supplier, or have additional questions? Contact us at!

Doug Jones
Applications Engineer

September 21, 2018
Read More

Quick Guide: Installing Rivet Nuts

Rivet Nuts

How do I know if I have the right installation force? Did I set it right? Do I have the right tool? These are some of the most valid questions when installing and using rivet nuts. Knowing the mating material, grip range, hole size, and clamp force will aid in getting the right fit for the joint in your application. Securing a proper clamp load will prevent from loosening and/or rotational loss. Understanding the creep and material relaxation is also important when using this joint design.

Finding the Correct Fit



Examples of Rivet Nut Applications

There is a lot to consider when choosing the right rivet nut. There are many choices for body styles, material, and coating finishes. Let the experts at Bossard help you narrow down your search and get you on the right path to a secure joint. Let us help you save money and avoid costly warranties or claims. Contact us at to learn more.

John Syharath
Technical Sales

September 14, 2018
Read More

How Pre-Applied Thread Lock Patches Can Save You Time and Money

Preapplied Thread Patches

If assembly requires applying liquid thread locker to any threads, pre-applied thread locking patches should be investigated.  Pre-applied thread locking patches could potentially be an untapped area for both time savings and cost savings.

Thread Locking Materials

Pre-applied thread locking materials work in a couple different ways. A nylon thread locker pushes work by forcing metal to metal contact between the threads on the opposite side of the applied area. Because of the way this type of thread locker works, coating all 360° of the threads is not advised.  This type of patch can be reused if care is taken. A thread locking patch works like a two-part epoxy. When installation occurs, the two parts mix together and after the two parts set, the area between the threads are filled. This type of thread locker can only be used once and if the joint needs to be serviced, a bolt with a new patch must be used.

Filling the thread tolerance area between the threads will help resolve some vibrational loosening that might be occurring.

There are many features of pre-applied thread locking patches including the amount of locking material applied to the threads is more consistent, parts can be processed in large lot quantities, and the pre-applied thread locking patch usually has a long shelf life.

Please feel free to contact Bossard to help answer any questions that may arise.

For more information on thread locking patches, check out or contact us directly at

Brandon Bouska
Application Engineer

September 07, 2018
Read More