Sometimes the simplest-seeming parts end up mattering the most. While many designs and plans understandably focus on those components that represent real advances in the state of the art, failing to pay attention to the fundamentals can be costly. Not giving even something as humble as a flat washer its proper due can result in problems that cost a business a great deal of money and status in the marketplace.
This is not to say that a basically negative attitude where the limitation of damage is the only real priority should be allowed to prevail, however. Instead, it merely means that every such facet of a proposed product should be explored and understood as thoroughly as possible. Doing so will mean being able to make the best possible choice, instead of settling on a decision that could prove to be less than ideal.
When it comes to washers, the issues to be comprehended are generally fairly straightforward. Washers are most often used to ensure that a bolt or other fastening device will not bite into and damage another surface. The appropriate style of washer can also help prevent a fastener from seizing up while keeping it locked tight under pressure at the same time.
To achieve all these important goals at once, it will normally be necessary to make use of the right balance of features. One of the most important of these is the material from which a washer might be constructed, with everything from brass or high-carbon steel to much more advanced alloys being available. In addition to contributing to the basic performance of the part, the particular material that is chosen can also encourage other desirable features. An appropriate stainless steel alloy, for example, might help a washer hold up under even highly corrosive conditions.
Beyond this, the physical format into which that material is formed will often be just as significant. A washer whose thickness, diameter, and bore size very precisely match the requirements associated with a project will, once again, perform at a higher level. While it can tempting to assume that basic parts of these kinds can be picked with little deliberation or focus, it often pays greatly to resist that kind of laxity and insist on making the best possible choice.