Hex Nuts

Hex nuts are one of the most popular nuts available which are used for anchors, bolts, screws, studs, threaded rods and every other fastener with threads on the frame.  Hex is short for hexagon, indicating they’ve six sides. Hex Nut is also are known as finished hex nuts, full hex nuts. Hex nuts may be used for lock washers.

Hex nut size refers to their diameter of the nominal thread. Typically, sizes range from 1/4″ to about 2 1/2″. Size is given in inches, usually fractional rather than decimal. The steel hex nut is available in various strength “grades” when compared to materials such as stainless steel and brass. Grade 2 is the lowest, in terms of both strength and cost; Grade 5 offers medium strength, and Grade 8 is the highest SAE grade and is usually priced the highest as well. Never substitute a hex nut with lower quality or a lower strength nut. Surface marks are used to identify the grade.

Common materials include steel, stainless steel, brass, silicon bronze, aluminum, and nylon. Steel is the least costly component followed by stainless steel; copper alloys are the most costly.

Common finishes for steel are:

  • Zinc plating
  • Hot-dip galvanizing.

Zinc, the most common and cheapest commercial plating, offers moderate resistance to corrosion.

Hot-dip galvanized is a thick zinc coating that protects against corrosion in harsh environments.

Stainless steel, however, is a safer option when corrosion is of concern even when immersed in salt water without free oxygen, where it may suffer from extreme pitting corrosion.

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