Understanding fastener plating and finishes

fastener finishes and plating
fastener finishes and plating

Buying fasteners seems like a simple task, but some people can feel paralysed by choice when they see the different options available.

While fastener materials are often chosen for their appearance, there are also other considerations such as strength and where you're going to use the fastener that come into play.

Read on to find out more about the pros and cons of different fastener finishes.

What to look for in a fastener

When you're buying fasteners, there are a few things you need to keep an eye out for.

Size is the obvious starting point, especially if you're replacing a worn-out fastener. In almost all cases, you'll want to get the same size replacement (unless the old one was found to be too small or weak for the job). If the old fastener has done a good job, it's a good idea to try to get the same type of coating again.

Exposure to water and chemicals can shorten the life of a fastener. Depending on where you'll be using the fastener – for example, on a boat – this may affect your decision making. 

Some plating materials can have an unattractive or uneven finish that you might not want on permanent display in your home. This is down to personal discretion. 

Zinc plated fasteners

Zinc is the most common fastener plating material in use today, for three key reasons: it's one of the cheaper options, has good rust resistance and an attractive finish.

Zinc fasteners are normally white to blue-grey in colour and can be used on all material types.

Chromate plated fasteners

Chromate fasteners have double coats, which gives two major advantages. The first is that it increases their resistance to corrosion, meaning they'll last longer before they need to be replaced.

The second is that the second plating can be done in a different colour, giving you a wider range of options to choose from.

Chromium/chrome plated fasteners

Chromium fasteners have a nice finish, often a bright blue or white colour, which makes them a popular choice for jobs when the fasteners will be clearly visible. They're also very hard-wearing, which makes them good for heavy loads, but these benefits do come with a higher price tag.

Chrome has similar rust-resistant properties to zinc and is often used in conjunction with stainless steel to improve the anti-corrosive properties of the fastener.

Stainless steel fasteners

Stainless steel is extremely good in terms of being non-corrosive, which makes them great to use in wet weather locations or in marine conditions.

Browse our wide range of fasteners

Browse the ovesco website for the fasteners you need to finish your next project. We stock fasteners with a variety of finishes, made by different manufacturers and in plenty of sizes.

If you want help to make sure you're picking the right product, call us on 1800 811 556 or pop into our Mayfield showroom to speak to us.

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