What is a screw?

A screw can be a accessory of a machine that prompts the machine to work, and it can also be an component that makes up an object or a machine. A screw is made up of a head, a non-threaded shank, a threaded shank, and a tip. The head of a screw may be circular or hexagonal and may be slotted or hollow. The non-threaded shank is near the head, and the threaded shank, which is helical, is close to the tip. The tip which is opposite to the end of the head, may be flat or sharp. Screws can be a variety of forms to accommodate to different need, and the forms vary from the nuts and the shanks. They may come in different sizes depending on where they are set up or how they are used for, while each screw is small and lightweight for people to hold it by one hand. Although screws are small pieces that people may be hard to find when they slipped away from their hands in a blink of an eye, they are things that are indispensable. Without screws, a machine will lose its force to work, and an object will have difficulty standing still.

What are screws used for?

● fastening machines
In industrial environments, screws are commonly used in clamping machines such as vices or chucks. They play an important role in fastening the workpieces in order to let the workpieces be conducted with other machining works. In these devices, screws are not fixed, instead, they can be loosened or tightened to adjust the pressure that gives to the workpieces.

● fixing objects
Screws can also be the components of a machine or an object. They are often set in the corner of the machine or object, which act as the supporting points of the machine or object. With the assistance of a screwdriver, the screws can be fixed on the machine or object, which prevent the machine or object from being broken easily. Therefore, each screw is a small yet indispensable component that a machine or object cannot be made without.

● forcing objects to stay still
There is another usage of the screws, which is to be a screw press. Here, screws are playing the role of accessory of the machines The screw press in invented in Greece in the 1st or 2nd century B.C. In the past, people make clothes manually, and they would need a screw press as the assistance, in order to force the clothes to stay still on the working table, and then the workers would stitch lines along the sides of clothes by moving the clothes manually.

What are screws made of?

● steel
Steel is the most commonly used material in making the screws, because comparing to other materials, steel is relatively lower at price. Some of the screws are made of stainless steel in making machines or other objects, which prevents those things from rusting easily due to the condition of the environments or other personal factors. The only drawback is that steel is usually weaker than others.

● copper
Copper is another material that keeps the screws from corrosion. If a screw is made of copper, the durability of the screw can be extended longer than normal steel. Thus, copper is another option for the manufacturing of screws.

● aluminum
Aluminum stands out from the materials that made up the screws by its weight. Although screws are very small components of an object, they may account for certain parts of the weight in an object. Since modern people pursue portability of the products they use, any product that is comprised of aluminum screws can lower the weight of it.

● titanium
Titanium costs higher than other materials, so many people who think of their budget may not accept it. While there are advantages of using titanium to make screws, because titanium is not only robust but also light. Considering the durability and portability, titanium may be another good choice.

What are the types of screws?

● cap screw
A cap screw is comprised of a flat, solid head and smooth shank with a flat tip. It is used to fasten wood to wood, or metal to wood. Because of its construction, it may be easy to spin in the process of tightening or loosening objects, it requires to be operated with the assistance of a wrench or a socket.

● machine screw
A machine screw is made up of a circular Philips head with a smooth shank and a flat tip. It is used to fasten metal to metal, or metal to plastic. Machine screws are widely applied in electrical components with the force of cross-head screwdriver.

● set screw
A set screw is hollow from the head to the tip, and it is often used in combination with a shaft to increase friction. Set screws may be made of conical and cylindrical points to fit in matching holes and with slotted square heads.

● self-tapping screw
Self-tapping screws are used in metals, plastics, glass fiber, asbestos, and resin-impregnated plywood. It forms threads by displacing material adjacent to a pilot hole so as to flow around the screw.

● wood screw
The wood screws are used to attach wood to wood. They may vary from the construction of the threaded shanks. Wood screws that have fewer threads per inch of length are suitable for being used in soft woods, while hard woods are usually attached by fine-thread wood screws.

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