One of the most commonly used fixings in the World today is the simple, but very effective nut and bolt. They are used in all aspects of our daily lives, from holding our cars together, through to holding high strength applications such as crash barriers in place.

Nuts and bolts come in a vast range of sizes in both imperial and the modern metric standard. They can be bought in plain steel or stainless steel. There is a preference to use stainless steel nuts and bolts as they are not so prone to rusting, where as if you use plain steel for fixing something outside that is exposed to the elements then you are likely to find the fixing rusts so fast, that in six months time you will not be able to undo it. So care is needed when selecting your fixing.

Nuts and bolts have been in use for centuries with early applications being in the construction of horse drawn carriages. Indeed the first machinery devised for cutting a screw thread was made by Besson (France) in 1568!

Not much progress was made over the next hundred years until 1641 when Hindley (England) improved the machining process, which then came into far more widespread use as a result. zip ties

Then there was another large gap in the history of the nut and bolt, with not much progression towards an automated process until 1818 when Mr Rugg of Connecticut, invented two machines for making carriage bolts. Initially they were powered by the machine operator, and it was not until some years later that power was applied to the process. When the machines got power, the process was sped up such that one man could do more work faster than half a dozen men used to do. Thus began the age of the modern nut and bolt.

Indeed from then on the process moved on fairly fast, as in 1859 a Mr. Clark of Connecticut registered a patent for a machine that made bolts out of round iron for the first time, as unbelievably all bolts made prior to this were actually made from square iron bars which were then rounded off in a lathe.

The switch to round iron meant the nuts and bolts could be produced much faster and more cheaply, this in turn lead to them being used more, and demand thus grew rapidly from then on.

Modern machines now turn out tens of thousands of nuts and bolts per day, often with little or no human input.



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