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What is Crush Washer? Uses and Applications

Crush Washer

A crush washer may sound like an unusual item, but it is one of the essential components in industries that require a fastening mechanism. It is a specialized type of washer commonly used in the automotive and plumbing industries. A crush washer is constructed with a material that is softer than the material being fastened. It is fitted between the two metal surfaces and is compressed to create a watertight or airtight seal. It prevents leakage and ensures uniform compression and a stable joint. In this blog, let’s explore this small but crucial component, its uses and applications.

What is Crush Washer?

A Crush Washer is a type of lock washer composed of a soft metal such as aluminium or copper, which is deformed when tightened to create friction between the fastener and its mating surface. They are commonly used in automotive and aerospace applications where vibration can cause the fasteners to loosen over time. Crush washers also help provide a degree of waterproofing since they form an additional seal with a greater surface contact area than standard flat washers.

Understanding the types of Crush Washers

Crush washers are available in various designs, shapes and materials based on their applications. Copper crush washers are most commonly used in the automotive and plumbing industries, whereas aluminium, brass and stainless steel crush washers are used in various applications, including aerospace, marine, and industrial equipment. These washers have similar properties but differ in cost, corrosion resistance and durability.

Applications of Crush Washers

The primary function of a crush washer is to prevent fluid seepage between two components that are joined together. They are used in many applications, including:

Oil Drain Plugs – In automobiles, crush washers are used in oil drain plugs to keep the oil seal intact and prevent oil leakage.

Plumbing fixtures – Crush washers make leak-free connections between pipes and valves, ensuring tight fittings.

Industrial Hydraulics – In hydraulic seals, crush washers help to maintain a tight grip on hydraulic cylinders, avoiding leaks in the system.

Installation of a Crush Washer

Installing crush washers is simple, but attention to detail is critical. The surfaces that the crush washer will be installed between should be clean and free from debris, rust, and other contaminants that may compromise the integrity of the seal. The crush washer should be inserted by hand, and its edges should line up with the fasteners and not go over them.

Advantages of using Crush Washers

There are several benefits of using crush washers in various industries. Some of these advantages include:

It ensures the longevity of the components and machinery.

It prevents the loss of fluids and gases.

It reduces the risk of contamination by preventing the entry of unwanted particles and microbes into the system.


Crush washers are a small but vital component in various industries that require secure and leak-free connections. They are simple in design but highly effective in preventing leaks that could cause damage and downtime of machinery or equipment. Choosing the right crush washer for a particular application is essential to get the most benefit. So, if you are working with joining metal or plumbing components, make sure that you consider the use of crush washers to provide a reliable seal and prevent fluid or gas leakage.

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