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Tips for Choosing Fastener Material

By far the workhorse material of the fastening world is carbon or alloy steel, often plated or coated to resist corrosion in service. But, is this material suitable for all designs? What about cast iron, stainless steel, aluminum or even carbon fiber? If we make poor choices on material or fastener finishes, we can be setting our joints up to fail. Let’s take a brief look at each of the aforementioned materials:

Joint Materials Recommended Fastener Material Recommended Fastener Finish Comments
Plain steel Plain carbon or alloy steel Plain finish
Cast iron Plain carbon or alloy steel Plain finish
Aluminum Aluminum alloy or stainless None Zinc flake coated plain carbon steel may also be used
Copper Copper None


Stainless is suitable
Stainless steel Stainless steel None
Zinc die cast Plain carbon steel Zinc plated
Carbon fiber Stainless steel

It is ideal to match the fastener material as closely as possible to the joint material not only to guard against galvanic corrosion, but also match the thermal expansion and contraction of the materials as they cycle through different temperatures.

There are also specialty fastener materials designed specifically for high temperature service.


For more information on which fastener material is right for your design, check out www.bossard.com or contact us at ProvenProductivity@bossard.com.

Doug Jones
Applications Engineer

Tips for Choosing Fastener Material by
January 18, 2019

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