What’s a Safety Pin?

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Shear pins are safety devices designed to break at a pre-set stress load to protect systems and people. They are commonly used in transmissions and snow blowers. It is important to use the right shear pin for a particular application and replace it when it fails. They are inexpensive and can be replaced by operators. If a shear pin repeatedly fails, it could indicate a problem with the equipment. Shear pins can be found at hardware and home improvement stores.

A shear pin is a mechanical safety device that breaks at a pre-set stress load to protect the rest of a system as well as operators and technicians who may be nearby. One of the most common uses of such devices is in transmissions, where uncontrolled pressure could damage the system if not stopped with the aid of a device such as a shear pin. Such devices are intended to be part of a larger security network with counter safes that can activate when other security measures fail, to reduce the risk of harm, injury or death.

A shear pin is a bolt or other fastener such as a cotter pin that is carefully designed to break at the right stress level. Designers don’t want the shear pin to fail under normal operating conditions, but they do need it to snap in the event of a high-stress situation. For example, such devices are commonly used in snow blowers to provide protection in case something gets caught in the blades, which would put strain on the device’s drivetrain.

It is important to use a shear pin rated for a particular application. Manuals typically provide specifications, and manufacturers may stock pins for customers’ convenience. The pin will need to be replaced whenever it fails, and some devices are designed so that they won’t function without the pin in place. This is a safety measure to prevent accidents if an operator decides to continue using a machine even after the pin breaks.

Like other sacrificial parts, the primary function of a shear pin is to prevent costly damage to a system and to protect human health and safety. These parts are typically very inexpensive to make them easy to replace, and can be replaced by operators, as the insertion point is usually easy to locate. If a shear pin repeatedly fails, it could be a sign that there’s a problem with the equipment that’s causing it to strain, and a mechanic may need to look into it to explore possible causes of the problem.

Hardware and home improvement stores may have shear pins. The package should include the stress rating and also provide information on size and method of attachment. There are several ways to insert a shear pin into a system and it can be helpful to insert the broken component to compare it to replacements. This can increase your chances of getting the part right the first time if a specific model number is not available.

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