Fasteners: Can nuts and bolts be safely reused?

Last Updated on May 11, 2021 by Marsh Fasteners

When the time comes to dismantle or reassemble, the question of whether or not to reuse nuts and bolts tends to come up. It is possible to reuse fasteners in some cases. However, only fasteners that have never been torqued beyond their yield strength may be used again. If over-torquing is suspected or confirmed, these fasteners may prove unreliable to provide a durable, secure joint.

If fasteners have been exposed to extreme heat or show any signs of corrosion, they should not be reused. Previous modifications made to fasteners with paint, lubrication, or other treatments also make them unsuitable for a second application. Used bolts, nuts, washers, and other types of fasteners should not be reused on critical joints or applications, no matter their condition. If joints have been designed for loosening and tightening, that action is permitted. However, even in pre-designed applications, excessive movement will eventually wear the nuts and bolts down and render them unstable.

It is also important to note that a used bolt should never be used in combination with a new nut. Nor should a used nut be paired with a new bolt. Tensions, heat, and age may have pushed used fasteners beyond their yield strength, which may result in deformities invisible to the naked eye. Deformed threads do not mate well with new threads and will create uneven and unstable joints.

Reusing nuts, bolts, washers, and other mechanical fasteners is generally never a good idea. If you have any doubts about a fastener's condition, it is best to discard it in favor of new fasteners as that will always result in a stronger, more durable joint. Any money you would have saved by reusing the fasteners will be overshadowed by damage and downtime caused by fastener failure.

Marsh Fasteners is committed to providing the most durable products. For the finest selection and quality stainless steel nuts and bolts, pay a visit to Marsh Fasteners.

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