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 ProvenProductivity@bossard.com.