Coastal areas are hot spots for tourists and full-time residents alike. Improvements are made to coastal areas by constructing boat ramps, docks, and marinas that make the water more accessible.
Specialized hardware must be used in these marine construction applications. All of the materials used in marine construction need to be able to withstand constant exposure to moisture. Some materials must also be able to stand up to salt without the risk of corrosion. Here are three types of marine fasteners that can be used.
1. Stainless Steel Bolts
Bolts are the most common type of fastener used in any construction setting. The bolts that are used in marine construction projects are often made from stainless steel.
Stainless steel is not a pure metal, but rather an alloy containing several different types of metal. It is these alloying metals that offer stainless steel its resistance against moisture-related corrosion.
Since marine fasteners need to perform in wet conditions, stainless steel bolts are a great option.
2. Shear Plates
Another common type of fastener you will see in marine construction is a shear plate.
Shear plates are designed specifically to increase the load capacity of wood. Wood has the ability to float when exposed to large bodies of water. This characteristic makes wood a great choice for the construction of floating docks, walkways, and other structures that must float on the surface of the water.
Shear plates are embedded directly in the timber at each fastening point. The iron shear plates help to stabilize the wood once it is connected to other wood or steel components via a marine bolt. Without the use of shear plates when fastening wood to other marine materials, the weight limit of floating structures would be significantly limited.
3. Galvanized Bolts
Marine construction that occurs in very harsh environments requires the use of a heavy-duty bolt that can offer maximum protection against corrosion. Galvanized bolts can perform in tough environments.
A galvanized bolt is essentially a stainless steel bolt that has been hot-dipped in a zinc bath. The zinc adheres to the surface of the bolt, providing an added layer of protection against corrosion.
You will often find galvanized bolts used near the ocean because the zinc protective layer can withstand exposure to saltwater on a regular basis.
The right marine fastener can influence the durability of any marine structure. Stainless steel bolts, shear plates, and galvanized bolts can each be useful fasteners when trying to construct durable and long-lasting marine structures.