Many industries depend on fasteners such as screws to provide products and services. For this reason, the market can achieve a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of nearly 4% by 2025. In 2017, the market value already reached over $74 billion.
Two reasons that help drive the growth are the many suppliers available and the wide variety of fasteners. For example, screws can be from the following types of metals:
1. Stainless Steel
Stainless steel is a metal alloy, which means that another metal combines with carbon. In this case, it’s about 10.5% chromium.
With chromium, stainless steel possesses one of its distinct advantages: corrosion resistance. Adding the chrome allows oxide to form. It then acts as a protective layer or coating to the steel.
The metal then becomes suitable for projects in high-moisture areas. These include the coastal regions, where the presence of salt can likely increase the likelihood of corrosion.
Stainless steel fasteners, therefore, tend to last long, especially when they are free of contaminants during their use. The sheen also gives them an aesthetic appeal.
Stainless steel can also handle extreme temperatures and is easy to maintain. Lastly, it is environment-friendly since users can recycle it after the end of its useful life.
Although stainless steel is corrosion resistant, it doesn’t mean that it is rust-proof. Depending on the environment and method of installation, it can still experience corrosion.
If the users intend to use the metal screws in wetter environments, they can look for screws with zinc plating. Zinc can add another anti-corrosive layer into the metal. In the process, it extends the service life of the fasteners. With zinc, fasteners such as screws become usable in making marine vessels and seaports.
Other metals can also have chromium in a process called electroplating. During the procedure, an expert applies a thin layer of chromium into the metal object or surface.
It then procedures a very durable metal screw. It might be able to deal with higher levels of stress, impact, or tension. Besides that, chrome gives the object some shine and vibrancy, so it appears more aesthetically appealing then stainless steel.
Using chromium has two disadvantages, though. First, the process might be harmful to health in the long-term. Second, chrome is an expensive material.
4. Carbon Steel
Some of the earliest types of metal screws were of carbon steel. Unlike stainless steel, the primary alloy is carbon. The subcategories, meanwhile, can differ according to the percentage of carbon the metal contains.
One of the benefits of using carbon steel is their tensile strength. They can handle a heavy load, which is also the reason it’s a standard material for masonry nails. They are also less expensive to produce and buy. The biggest downside is that it is prone to rust.
The kind of metal used is only one of the many factors to consider when looking for the right screws. Others are the size and purpose. Knowing the metal, though, can help speed up the decision-making process. Users can also determine the best screw to use given the budget and the project.