What Are Washers Used For?Washers are thin, usually flattened, disc or circular-shaped pieces of metal with a hole in the middle used together with threaded fasteners. While they are part of the assembly, they do not hold anything together or drive in surfaces. This article will discuss what washers are used for and why they are an essential component in various applications.

Distribution Of Load

Threaded fasteners such as nuts, bolts, and screws exert significant pressure on the surfaces they hold together. This force can cause damage or deform the surface, leading to cracks and weakening of the material. For example, driving a screw into a wood may create a hole too large for the screw to hold on to, thus compromising its strength.

Washers help distribute this load evenly over a larger area. This distribution reduces the pressure exerted on the surface and prevents damage.

Preventing Leakage

Fasteners pass through holes in the surfaces, getting held together. However, in some cases, such as piping, you need these holes sealed. Washers help create a tighter seal, preventing any leakage between the surfaces.

Such washers are often made of soft material that presses completely against the surfaces.

Reduce Vibration

In applications where the surfaces are prone to vibrations, such as in automotive or machinery, washers play a crucial role. They act as shock absorbers for the fasteners and prevent them from loosening due to constant movement.

Such types of washers are also known as vibration-isolating or vibration-damping washers. They consist of softer materials such as rubber, plastic, or urethane.


In some applications, precision is crucial. If bolts or screws are not aligned correctly with their corresponding holes, it may cause misalignment of the entire assembly. Washers with an inner diameter larger than that of the fastener can act as shims and help align these fasteners correctly.

Minneapolis Washer & Stamping Washers

Washers are a critical component of assemblies, providing various benefits. However, they come in multiple sizes, shapes, and materials to suit different applications. Talk to a manufacturer when sourcing washers to ensure you get the best type for your specific needs.

At Minneapolis Washer & Stamping, we offer various washers for various industries and applications. We can help you find the perfect washer for your needs and avoid wasting time and money on the wrong product. Contact us today for more information or to request a quote.

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