A common alternative to plastic clips are clips made of metal.
Quick links to Metal Clips Information
There are numerous benefits of metal clips as opposed to plastic clips. Metal clips are capable of holding more weight, are stronger, and are more durable than plastic clips. Furthermore, certain types of metal clips—such as those made of stainless steel—are resistant to corrosion and other environmental conditions.
Metal clips are available for a broad range of industries and applications, such as military, telecommunications, marine, and aerospace. Almost every application utilizes a metal clip to some extent. Due to the variety of uses for metal clips, it is best to first know the requirements of your desired application. If you are unsure of the specifics of the application, it is recommended to compare the advantages and disadvantages of the materials and types of metal clips. It is also highly recommended to consult a metal clip manufacturer in order to find an appropriate solution, as they will assist in providing valuable insight.
Metal clips are usually formed through the process of metal stamping. Metals such as carbon steel, stainless steel, aluminum, or bronze are typically used in fabricating them. They can be made by way of a progressive die machine. Progressive die pressing is one of the most common of all stamping methods. The metal sheet is moved through a single die that is divided into sections, or stations, each of which performs a certain function onto the part. After the part takes shape, a slide holds it against the center tool, where the part is struck by other tools. The front and back tool force the part to wrap around the center tool, forming a U-shape. The right tool forms the clip’s underside and further closes it, and the part is then sent for further treatment.
- Materials Used
- Since the range of uses for metal clips is so vast, the material used to make the metal clips depends greatly on the desired application. For instance, aluminum is recommended for lightweight applications, and cold rolled steel is a recommended material for more heavy-duty applications.
Metal clips can come in a variety of different types, including catches, clamps, latches, clasps, and spring clips.
- Can be defined as a set of plates or brackets that are placed at certain points of two adjacent items. The primary function of latches is to fasten items together. Items that utilize latches to carry out their functions include cabinet doors, suitcases, briefcases, and windows. Latches can be found in virtually every industry, from automotive to railroad to aerospace. Metal latches must be built to withstand stress and other environmental factors, and are therefore constructed from steel, stainless steel, aluminum alloys, brass, and cast iron.
- Can be similarly utilized, but are also used for applications that are more heavy-duty. It is common to find a clamp in applications such as metalworking and woodworking. Several examples of clamps include spring clamps, bar clamps, band clamps, and handscrew clamps.
- Spring Clamps
- Also known as pinch clamps, function similarly to clothespins but are much stronger. They consist of two handles that are held together by a steel spring. Spring clamps can act as a third hand, holding items for functions such as painting, gluing, or small repairs.
- Bar Clamps
- A frame that consists of a long bar with two clamping jaws, at least one of which is adjustable by a screw mechanism. Bar clamps can come in many varieties and are used for heavy duty applications such as cabinet making or woodwork.
- Band Clamps
- Utilize a long, flexible nylon strip to hold an item in place. Band clamps are ideal to hold oval, hexagonal, or irregularly shaped items. It is recommended to find a band clamp that is fitted with a ratcheting mechanism, which assists in releasing and tightening the band. A non ratcheting band clamp must be tightened with a small open-end wrench, which can make for a frustrating and time consuming task.
- Handscrew Clamps
- Known for their versatility. These clamps are traditionally used for woodworking, and are equipped with a pair of threaded rod handles that can apply a large amount of pressure. The jaws are easily adjustable, and can be adjusted to accommodate for workpieces that are tapered, sloped, or offset, which is a feature that is unique only to this type of clamp.
- Spring Clamps
- Commonly used to assemble cover panels and hinged components, as well as tightening fabrics, fastening molding trim, and holding cables. They can be used for applications such as keeping a glove box securely closed, or attaching a penlight to a keychain.