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The PFC2 and PFS2 self-clinching captive-panel screws from PennEngineering, Danboro, Pa., provide secure and permanent attachment for thin-metal assemblies. The fasteners can also be removed and reused if someone needs to get access to a sealed panel. In addition, the screws and hardware eliminate typical issues and risks associated with handling, installing, and potential loosening of screws in service. The fasteners can be actuated easily by tool or hand.
These spring-loaded stainless screws work on aluminum or steel sheets as thin as 0.06 in. (1.53 mm) and have the appropriate hardness to “bite” into the metal. PFC2 screws made of stainless steel are appropriate for metal sheets with an HRB (Rockwell B hardness) of 70 or less and an HB (Brinell hardness) of 125 or less. PFS2 screws consist mainly of carbon steel and work on metal sheets with an HRB of 80 or less and a Brinell hardness of 150 or less. The screws are available in several screw lengths and in thread sizes #4-40 through ¼-20 and M3 through M6. In addition, both screw types can be supplied with a DuraBlack finish (black nitride) that increases wear and corrosion resistance, fatigue strength, and lubricity, while providing cosmetic appeal.
The fasteners install quickly and reliably by squeezing them into properly sized holes using standard equipment or the manufacturer’s Pemserter press to develop sufficient force. The force ensures the shoulder of the fastener’s retainer contacts the sheet material and that the fastener clinches permanently into place to become an integral part of an assembly.