You can find screws in almost every application, whether it’s in your home, at the store, or at the local park. Without them, society would look very different. They can be used in a variety of ways—some more surprising than others—and in many circumstances, they’re used in ways you would have never imagined. However, they all serve a great level of importance. Keep reading this article for the different types of screws and their uses.
Traditional screws are mechanical fasteners typically made of metal. On one end is a flat shaft; the other end comes to a point. In between the two ends is a threaded section called the shank, which is made up of helical grooves. This area can be fully or partially threaded. Screws with threaded shanks are intended to be driven into materials, while partially threaded screws are intended to be driven into tapped holes.
A traditional screw can be used to secure objects together or to secure objects in place. Below are a few examples of traditional screws and their uses.
- Wood Screws: Designed with partially unthreaded shanks, these screws are meant to join two pieces of timber together.
- Concrete Screws: Typically made of stainless or carbon steel, concrete screws are made to screw things onto concrete.
- Masonry Screws: These screws are meant to be driven into tapped holes in brick or stone.
- Double-Ended Screws: Instead of having a flat end, these screws have two pointed ends. They’re used for making hidden joints.
- Drywall Screws: These screws are used to attach drywall to metal or timber studs.
- Eyebolt Screws: These are used for attaching wires across building surfaces.
- Security Head Screws: These types of screws are used for security purposes because they’re designed with heads that are impossible to reverse.
Aside from these examples of traditional screws you’ve likely come across before, there are also nontraditional screws that you have probably never heard of. These screws are typically involved in specific engineering processes, which is why the chances of your familiarity with and knowledge about them is likely low.
The type of nontraditional screw we’ll be discussing specifically is a ball screw. Ball screws are mechanical tools that convert rotational movement into linear movement. Understanding how a ball screw works can be difficult, but some of their components make them similar to traditional screws. Like a traditional screw, a ball screw is made up of a screw with helical grooves. However, it also involves a nut and a ball, which is typically made of metal, ceramic, or plastic. Ball screws are considered nontraditional because they serve a different purpose than a traditional screw. Rather than being used to join two materials together, ball screws are used to translate rotary motion from an electric motor to axial motion in a steering rack.
Now that you know the different types of screws and their uses, challenge yourself to take a closer look at your surroundings. You’ll have a fun time finding some of the screws we’ve mentioned here.