ThePipingMart Blog Fasteners Flat Washer vs Spring Washer – What’s the Difference

Flat Washer vs Spring Washer – What’s the Difference

Flat Washer vs Spring Washer

Different types of washers are used in construction and manufacturing jobs. However, the two most popular types are the flat and spring washers. They have unique advantages and are used in different ways. This blog post will explore the differences between a flat washer and a spring washer, their advantages, and which is better for specific applications.

What is Flat Washer?

A flat washer is a thin, disc-shaped piece of metal with a central hole. It is used to distribute the load of a fastener evenly and prevent damage to the surface material. Flat washers can be used with bolts, screws, or nuts to increase the contact area, which reduces the pressure and helps to prevent loosening. They are generally used in low-stress applications where there is no need for tension control. They are also perfect for covering oversized or elongated holes.

What is Spring Washer?

A spring washer is a type of washer that is made of spring steel and has a unique shape. It has a small, conical shape with a raised outer edge. Spring washers are designed to create tension in a joint that experiences vibration or has an unstable connection. They work by compressing and decompressing as pressure is applied, which provides extra tension. They are mostly used in applications where there is a need for tension control to prevent loosening. They are also used in electrical applications to prevent the loosening of wires or terminals.

Difference Between Flat Washer and Spring Washer

Advantages of Flat Washers

The primary advantage of using flat washers is that they help to distribute the load evenly on the surface material, reducing the risk of damage or deformation. They are also inexpensive and easy to procure, making them ideal for low-cost applications. Additionally, they can be stacked together to form thicker washers for applications requiring extra thickness.

Advantages of Spring Washers

The primary advantage of spring washers is that they provide superior tension control, making it possible to maintain a tight connection even under vibration or motion. They are also better suited for high-load applications as they are designed to handle more tension. Additionally, spring washers can be reused several times, which makes them ideal for repair jobs.


When selecting a washer, it’s essential to consider the application and the loads the fastener will be subjected to. While a flat washer is ideal for low-stress applications, a spring washer is recommended for high-load applications or to control tension in a connection. This information lets you decide which type of washer to use in your next project.

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