When working with metric fasteners, we’re working with a near universal unit of measurement, although there are a few noteworthy exceptions to this rule. Northern America, for instance, looks upon the metric system with a certain amount of ambivalence. Still, even with these notable exceptions, the metric system has become the de facto measurement standard across the world, so let’s see why decimalization stands toe-to-toe with the imperial system.

The Benefits of Decimal Point Shifting

Metric fasteners scale easily in size thanks to mathematical integers. That’s to say, there are no messy fractions of an inch to deal with. Instead, manufacturers fabricate sets of bolts and label them in millimeters. If the fastener series is scaled upwards in size, then the engineer can convert the size in his head simply by moving the decimal point and thinking in centimeters.

Pitch-end to Perfection

Conventional imperial thread measurement tells us how many threads per inch exist on the body of a bolt rod. Conversely, metric fasteners use pitch distance in place of thread count, which represents a far more reliable method of defining the coarseness of a specified fastener. Thanks to this attribute, an engineer knows how fine or coarse the fastening mechanism is, which is an important feature. One that eliminates thread stripping while enhancing anti-vibrational features.

Imperial Measurements are Not Universally Recognized

Regional errors plague imperial fasteners because of internationally shipped machinery. Thankfully, the metric system dominates the world stage, so there’s a much greater likelihood that decimalized fasteners will fit these imported machines. Conversely, imported machinery does not always favour the imperial system.

Order with Confidence

As the United States and other holdouts slowly recognize decimalized fasteners as a standard, one that’s not going away, the changes will gather speed. Power-of-ten reliability will take over and neutralize thread counts while pitch distance becomes the accepted path. And, once pitch does dominate, then sharply defined threads that exactingly incorporate precision-imbued coarseness versus fineness characteristics will gain universal acceptance.

Finally, the hardness and strength of the sourced alloys remain consistent across both measurement scales, so both products will work, but, and this is an important point, easy installation can only be guaranteed if matching bolts and nuts are purchased. Even then, intervenings holes may have been drilled by a metric drill bit, so always evaluate the measurement system in tandem with machinery screw holes and drilled holes, and keep every fastening element consistent.

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TCI Fasteners – Topcope
13 Slater Parade, Keilor East VIC 3033 Australia

Telephone: (03) 9336 0155