Stainless Steel vs. Galvanized vs. Zinc Plated Nuts

Last Updated on July 1, 2020 by Marsh Fasteners

Nuts are fasteners that are manufactured in a variety of materials including the likes of steel, titanium, plastic, and more. In addition to this, there are various different grades to choose from. Some of these fasteners are also available in various coatings or plating, which is meant to enhance the corrosion resistance of the product and reduce costs.

Choosing the right fastener material is important as it will determine how strong or brittle the product is. The material of the fastener also dictates its resistance to corrosion as well as its aesthetic appeal. If you need to replace your existing fasteners, it is best to replace them with the same fastener material, unless the material itself is causing corrosion or not coping in the environment that it is in.

When comparing stainless steel vs. zinc plated vs. galvanized nuts, it’s important to realize that stainless steel itself is a material and galvanizing and zinc plating are forms of coating.

Stainless Steel Nuts

Stainless steel is the most durable option when it comes to different types of nuts. These nuts not only offer enhanced corrosion resistance, but the integrity of this resistance won’t be affected even if the product is scratched. The only tricky part of opting for stainless steel nuts is that they must be installed by a professional with exceptional care to avoid galling (seizing).

Zinc Plated Nuts

Steel fasteners that are electroplated with zinc (zinc plated) to improve corrosion resistance are also a good choice. While zinc plated bolts and nuts are considered resistant to corrosion and have a number of suitable applications outdoors and within the industrial sphere, zinc plated nuts are not suitable for use in marine environments or in environments where humidity is higher than average.

The main benefit of zinc plated bolts and nuts is that they are much cheaper than stainless steel nuts. They will often provide an acceptable level of strength and corrosion resistance for most non-specialty applications, making them a worthwhile consideration to keep in mind. 

Galvanized Nuts

Many people are surprised to discover that galvanized nuts are also coated in a layer of zinc. The difference is that when nuts are hot-dip galvanized, the metal is coated in a much thicker layer which, in turn, makes the product even more corrosion resistant than regular zinc plated nuts. While these present the most durable material, they are not compatible with bolts manufactured from other materials as galvanized steel vs. stainless steel nuts have slightly different dimensions to other types of fasteners.

The bottom line is that you cannot go wrong with stainless steel nuts. This is because they do not need to be coated in order to provide strength, durability, and corrosion resistance. They are inherently all of those things. As for coated and zinc plated nuts, the coatings can begin to erode over time, ultimately affecting their overall strength and longevity. At the end of the day, it is a matter of both budget and preference. As long as you ensure that you choose a reputable nuts and bolts supplier, you should not have to worry about any issues along the way. 

Marsh Fasteners

At Marsh Fasteners we stock a wide variety of stainless steel and nickel brass nuts including the likes of Acorn Cap Nuts, All Metal Nuts, Barrel Nuts, Coupling Nuts, Finish Hexagon Nuts, KEP “K” Nuts, Machine Screw Nuts, Metric Nuts, Nylon Insert Lock Nuts, Serrated Flange Nuts, Thin Nuts, and Wing Nuts. These are available in various grades of stainless steel and nickel brass.

For more information and advice on our range of nuts, contact us via email or telephone at Marsh Fasteners today.

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