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Nail facts – How the fastener fascinates us


Humans have used fasteners in the most aggressive way to build things that we see around us. From bridges to boxes and from automobiles to guns you will hardly find a manufactured or fabricated engineering item that does not use fasteners. In order to support such wide and varied use, the range of fasteners is something that can really be mind boggling. The construction industry uses fasteners rampantly and the selection of fasteners depends on two things – the function of the item and the material from which it is made or the materials that are to be fastened together. Fasteners that can hold wood and steel together will be different from fasteners that are used in wood working.

Nails are basic fasteners

Nails rank among the most basic construction fasteners along with screws. Fasteners are rated according to the tensile strength and shear value for the material from which it is made. This is true for any kind of fastener including nails. Taking into consideration aesthetic needs and environmental factors, stainless steel nails are used in specific places where long lasting and good looks are necessary. Nails are sold in bulk quantities as individual pieces or in collated form. Collated nails cannot be hammered manually but requires pneumatic nailers for fixing. The nails are configured in coils or strips and are spaced from one another while being held at a pre-determined angle.

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Types of nails

  • Common nail – Taking a cue from the name it is not difficult to understand that this is the type we all know about and use in daily life. Also known as spikes, it comes in lengths of one inch to six inches.
  • Finishing nail – These are usually stainless steel nails that are used to give the final finish to any work. Stainless steel is used so that the nails can maintain its shining looks for long period without rusting or turning dull.
  • Box nail – These are used for joining pieces of wood that do not have to bear much weight. It is similar to common nail but have slender bodies. It is available in sizes from 1 inch to 3.5 inches.
  • Casing nail – Just think of a slightly larger finishing nail and you can make out what the casing nail is like. It has more holding power than finishing nails.
  • Roofing nails – The shafts of roofing nails are much heavier as compared to its length and it has large round heads. These are made from aluminum, copper and zinc coated galvanized steel.

 Right selection matters

The success of a project largely depends on the selection and use of the right kinds of nails. Wrong use of nails like using aluminum nails at places where it is necessary to use stainless steel nails can have disastrous results.  Work can be delayed and even extra expenses would be involved in setting things right.  But besides selecting the right nail material, it is also necessary to choose the right type of nail that suits the project.

 

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