Bolts are a type of mechanical fastener with a threaded shaft. There are countless fastener types, but bolts, in particular, necessitate a nut for installation. While the head and nut provide the clamping force needed to prevent axial movement, the shaft is responsible for preventing radial movement. Typically, a bolt is inserted through surfaces or objects with unthreaded holes.
An unthreaded shank provides an interface between parts that is more precise and less abrasive. Furthermore, it does not have any stress concentrations that could result in failure. As such, it is important that the shank extends beyond the interface between parts if a significant shear force will be placed on the bolt.
Now that we have covered the working principle behind bolts, we will shift our focus to plow bolts which are a subtype of bolts with flat, tapered heads. Some plow bolts feature fully threaded shanks, while others have partially threaded shanks. Nonetheless, all plow bolts feature a smooth, flat head that tapers towards the threading.
This bolt type has been around since the mid-19th century and was originally devised to connect the blade of a plow to a frame. However, plows have since been replaced with tractors and other agricultural equipment, but plow bolts still find use in a variety of other applications. For instance, they are still utilized in fastening applications that necessitate a flush installation.
Most plow bolts are used in wooden objects. As previously mentioned, plow bolts are characterized by their head, which becomes countersunk under the surface of the wooden object. You may ask yourself: “What is the difference between a plow bolt and a traditional bolt?”
To begin, traditional bolts may or may not sit flush with the surface in which they are installed. Some of them have protruding heads, while others do not. After driving a traditional bolt into an object, the head sticks out of the surface of the object. Plow bolts, on the other hand, will not protrude and are specially designed to sit flush.
Another major difference between these bolt types is that plow bolts have a neck. More than that, when examining a plow bolt, you will notice that it has a ring at the base of the head. The nut, itself, prevents the plow bolts from turning when the nut is adjusted. Meanwhile, you can tighten or loosen the nut on the end of the plow bolt. Additionally, the neck allows the plow bolt to remain stationary while you adjust the nut.
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