Types of Lock Washers: A Comprehensive Guide to Keep Your Fasteners Secure

Lock washers are mechanical fasteners used to prevent loosening or rotation of nuts, bolts, or screws due to vibration or other external forces. They come in various designs and types, each offering unique locking capabilities. Here are some common types of lock washers:

1. Split Lock Washer

Split lock washers, also known as helical spring washers, are the most widely used type of lock washer. They have a split or helical shape and are placed under the head of a bolt or nut. When the bolt or nut is tightened, the spring action of the washer creates tension, which helps prevent loosening caused by vibration.

2. Toothed Lock Washer

Toothed lock washers, also called serrated lock washers, have teeth or serrations on their surfaces. The teeth dig into the mating surface of the bolt or nut and the connected material, providing resistance against loosening due to rotation or vibration.

3. External Tooth Lock Washer

External tooth lock washers have teeth or serrations on the outer edge. They are designed to bite into the mating surface to create friction and prevent rotation or loosening.

4. Internal Tooth Lock Washer

Internal tooth lock washers have teeth or serrations on the inner edge. When tightened, the teeth bite into the bolt or screw, creating resistance and preventing loosening.

5. Belleville Washer

Belleville washers, also known as conical spring washers, have a conical shape. They are designed to provide a high amount of spring force and maintain a constant tension on the bolt or nut, compensating for relaxation or settling over time. Belleville washers can handle high loads and are commonly used in applications requiring high spring rates.

6. Wave Washer

Wave washers, also called wave springs or wave disc springs, have a wavy or corrugated shape. They provide spring force when compressed, which helps maintain tension and prevent loosening. Wave washers are often used in applications with limited space.

These are just a few examples of the types of lock washers available. Each type is designed to provide specific locking capabilities and is suited for different applications and load requirements. When selecting a lock washer, it’s essential to consider factors such as the type of fastener, material compatibility, load requirements, and environmental conditions to ensure proper locking and prevent fastener failure.