What’s a cotter pin?

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Cotter pins are used to securely connect two components in machinery and come in various sizes and types, such as the R-clip, bow tie, and circular cotter pins. They are often made of stainless steel and can be purchased in batches. The UK version has a larger body for a tighter fit. Confusion can arise due to cultural differences in the definition of a cotter pin.

Cotter pins are simple devices that are used in many different types of machinery. The exact configuration and use of the pin varies from location to location. For the most part, the pin is used to provide a secure connection between two components that does not come loose while the machinery is in operation. Almost every type of machinery that employs the use of nuts and bolts in its design also requires the presence of a cotter pin.

In the US, the cotter pin is typically a thin pin split down the middle. Stainless steel is often the metal of choice for these fixtures. The head of the stud is normally larger in diameter than the body of the stud, making it easy to slide the fixture into place through a nut or bolt. Once in place, the two prongs that make up the body of the stud can be bent around the nut or bolt to help secure the components securely in place. In this application, the cotter pin performs a similar function to a rivet, but can be used when a rivet is not a practical solution.

The cotter pin is manufactured in a variety of sizes. This allows this type of fastener to be used in both small and large applications, ranging from simple tools and appliances used in the home to large pieces of machinery used in textile plants, electronic assembly plants, and other large-scale operations. Relatively inexpensive, cotter pins are often purchased in batches of a hundred or more, depending on the size and type of material used to make the pins.

There are several types of cotter pins in use today. Among the assortment of cotter pins used in different settings is the R-clip pin and the bow tie pin. There is also a round or circular cotter pin which is known as the circular cotter pin. Each of these performs the same basic function of securely connecting two components, but are used in different contexts, based on the type of machinery involved and the size of the components that need to be connected.

In the UK, a cotter pin may also have a slightly larger body which allows the device to be tightly wedged through holes in two components to hold them in place. This is slightly different from the thinner body found with most cotter pins in the US, but is particularly useful where there isn’t a real desire to allow any sort of friction or slippage between connected components. As more and more companies have become international in scope, the variety of pins that are part of the cotter pin family has sometimes led to confusions, based on differing understandings of what constitutes this type of pin in different cultures and settings.

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