Metal Clip Nuts vs Torlon® Composite Clip Nuts
May 4th, 2022
It’s no secret that Torlon® composite material is the strongest polymer on the market, ideal for a number of high performance applications. When it comes to clip-on nuts and other fasteners, however; how does it compare to traditional metal alternatives? In this blog, we’ll break down the strength, corrosion resistance, service temperature, and other important characteristics of both metal and Torlon® to help you determine which is best for your unique fastener application.
What are Metal Fasteners?Metal clip on nuts and other fasteners are produced from steel, stainless steel, brass, titanium, and a range of other metals, depending on the intended application. The metal a fastener is made out of will affect its corrosion resistance, strength, and brittleness. Metal fasteners can also have various coatings to increase their durability and resilience. Common coating options may include yellow or clear zinc, hot-dip galvanized, or gray phosphate.
What are Torlon® Fasteners?Torlon® is a high performance, extremely durable thermoplastic composite material. Also known as polyamide-imide (PAI), Torlon® is the result of a unique chemical combination that outperforms nearly every exotic composite and polymer on the market. This is a popular fastener material due to its lightweight, superior strength, and reliable performance at high temperatures (up to 500°F).
Why are Composite Clip-On Nuts Better Than Metal Clip-On Nuts?There are very few plastics that are strong enough to replace metal, but Torlon® non-metallic clip nuts have proven their strength and wear-resistance in the most demanding of sheet metal applications. While metal and Torlon® fasteners offer similar mechanical properties, Torlon® composite material eliminates the tooling and labor costs required by most metal clip-on fasteners. In addition, their superior resistance to corrosion allow them to be replaced less often than metal clip nuts, saving money in repair costs.
Among the many advantages of Torlon® includes its ability to be injection molded. Cold forging metal clip on nuts can be a costly process. Injection molded Torlon® clip on nuts conserve significant energy without compromising strength, stiffness, and superior performance at high temperatures.
Benefits of Injection Molded Torlon® Composite Clip NutsNow that we’ve established the advantages of Torlon® fasteners over metal alternatives, let’s review the advantages they can offer for your application:
- Max service temperature
- Superior corrosion resistance
- Strength & stiffness of steel
- Lower maintenance
- Reduced vibration and noise
- Reduced energy, tooling, & labor costs
Composite Clip Nut ApplicationsFrom components in NASA space shuttles to the engine parts in world-class race cars, Torlon® clip nuts have been used as a metal alternative in some of the most demanding applications. Additional applications include:
- Aerospace components
- Floor panels
- Honeycomb sandwich walls
- Construction applications
- Seat tracks