Sheet Metal & Panel Fasteners

Our advanced selection of sheet metal and panel fasteners includes many varieties of nuts, bushes, mandrels, stand-offs and studs, as well as multi-piece insert kits and more.

These products are suitable for a broad range of metalworking, assembly and production tasks that involve thin sheet metal materials, such as general machinery building/assembly, tube bending, lathe work and mounting rails of equipment racks.

What are the key differences between panel fastener types?

  • Cage nuts are typically used for mounting front panels to slide systems and instrument housings. A steel nut is held captive in a spring-steel cage for added grip/durability, and ideally used with a range of front panel screws.

  • Captive nuts work similarly to cage nuts; when compressed during insertion they secure, lock and hold the nut in the desired position.

  • Clinch nuts are most often used as permanent installations on thin sheet materials like aluminium.
    • Once inserted into a properly sized hole, a parallel squeezing force is applied to the head of the self-clinching nut, causing a flow of material into specially designed grooves under the head for a load-bearing, torque-resistant joint.
    • Along with self-clinching captive studs, they’re often found as fasteners in white goods and various electrical assemblies and enclosures.

  • Self-clinching standoffs work similarly to rivet bushes, in that they’re designed to allow greater loads to be affixed to relatively thin or weak materials.
    • They’re used to insert a load-bearing thread into a sheet of material, often in order to raise it above another piece (e.g. lifting a PCB away from a metal case to prevent shorting.
    • Through-threaded standoffs are fully drilled out, while the hole in a blind-threaded standoff is only cut to a partial depth for retaining smooth, closed outer panels when inserted flush with a surface.

  • Mandrels are a special type of shaft or bar fastener, designed to be inserted into holes in sheet metals in order to hold them securely in place during machining.
    • They’re sold in plain tempered steel varieties, as well as expanding versions (slightly tapered with an expandable wedge for holding your work), or straight threaded nut mandrels.