Shim washer properties vary depending on the material used for it – and there are a wide range of materials used.
Shim washers – also known as support washers – are often used to fill spaces, particularly between two components in, for example, machines used to manufacture products. They are used to absorb friction and tolerances between the components. Often components are not specifically machined to fit together perfectly – to do so would take much more time and increase their costs – so shim washer properties make them the perfect answer to fill the gaps to ensure the components perform to the maximum.
They can also help to maintain the components for longer as they don’t wear out as quickly.
Shim washer materials can include shim steel, stainless steel, brass, copper, aluminium, felt, leather and polyester plastic – among many others. Each has different shim washer properties that give different performance, so it is important to know what you want the shim washer properties to do.
But different applications require shim washers with different properties. For example, aluminium is a popular metal for making shim washers as it is non-magnetic, does not ignite easily, reflects very well, has good thermal and electrical conductivity and has excellent corrosion resistance.
Brass is another popular material for shim washers. Its shim washer properties include non sparking properties – unlike many metals – make it excellent for use in applications involving chemicals and explosive gases. It also malleable and has superb acoustic properties, meaning it is useful in a wide variety of applications, especially in electrical appliances, plumbing or bearings.
Copper is another popular metal for shim washers because of its properties; it can conduct heat and electricity – without expanding greatly – and is also soft and malleable in its pure form.
At Stephens Gaskets, we stock shim washers in a wide variety of materials – including brass, aluminium and copper – and sizes, in a number of different gauges and thicknesses, with different internal and external diameters to suit your needs and requirements. Whatever properties you want your shim washer to have, and in whichever material you want it – we will be able to manufacture and supply it to you.
Stephens Gaskets is based in Oldbury, near Birmingham, and was established in 1947. As well as manufacturing shim washers in a range of materials and with a variety of properties, we also produce gaskets, exhaust gaskets, cylinder head gaskets, novus gaskets, graphite gaskets, ring shims, precision washers and many others.