What Are Dowel Pins and Their Common Types
Dowel pins are a common form of industrial fastener, capable of joining two or more parts together in an assembly. While dowel pins may be made from wood, metal, or plastic, they tend to always be short, cylindrical rods that are tapered, slotted, or grooved. As dowel pins find common use in maintaining accurate alignment for machine components or for acting as location guides, it can be useful to have a basic understanding of such fasteners and their various types on the market.
Unlike many other components, dowel pins are completely devoid of any actuated or moving elements. Instead, they depend upon their high coefficient of friction to remain within the press-fit, pre-drilled holes they are inserted within, and additional adhesives may be applied for further security. With a lack of certain elements, dowel pins are also able to appear uniform with their assembly, allowing them to act as perfect solutions for furniture and other assemblies where aesthetics are important.
To ensure that all assembled parts remain together without the need for additional fasteners, the chosen dowel pins must be rigid when installed. For the most firm fit, the hole that the dowel pin is inserted within must either be the same exact size of the pin or slightly smaller. As dowel pins have established breaking strengths that indicate when a double shear occurs, it is important to identify any potential working loads prior to making a purchasing decision.
When it comes to the manufacturing dowel pins, the process may vary based on the materials and design of the fastener in question. For example, wooden dowel pins can be produced with the same mill machinery that is used for other cylindrical and wooden products, simply being smaller in terms of construction and size. Most wooden dowel pins are made from hardwoods, and they may be planed or grooved as desired.
For metal dowel pins, a melt and cast process is carried out following a somewhat standard process that begins with the melting and refinement of raw materials and ends with a variety of quality checks and inspection. Depending on the application, a number of materials may be used, common options including aluminum, brass, stainless steel, steel, and titanium. As the final type of dowel material, plastic dowels tend to be manufactured through plastic injection molding.
Aside from determining what materials are best, one should also take the time to consider pin sizing in terms of outer diameter and length. With outer diameter, one is discussing the measurement across the edges that establish width. Meanwhile, length is the measurement conducted for the longest cross section of the component.
With such factors and applicational requirements in mind, one can then decide which dowel pin configuration is best for their needs as each are unique. The most common options are locating, spring, and cotter pins, though options like pull dowel, knurled, tapered, and drive pins are all also available on the market. Regardless of what pin is right for your needs, the experts at ASAP Aviation Procurement are always ready to support you with rapid procurement, highly competitive pricing, expedited shipping options, and so much more.
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