Carriage bolts are some of the most important pieces of hardware when it comes to building structures like decks and playgrounds. You can order carriage bolts today for your next construction job from a number of online sources, including BACO Enterprises. BACO Enterprises supplies a wide variety of carriage bolts to fit the needs of commercial and residential construction projects, including galvanized carriage bolts, zinc carriage bolts, HDG carriage bolts and stainless carriage bolts. When placing your order, however, it’s first important to know the shear strength you’ll require.

What Is Shear Strength?

While seasoned construction professionals should already understand the concept, DIY home construction project enthusiasts may not fully realize the impact of shear strength. In short, shear strength is the amount of force that can safely be exerted on a surface as the force slides against the surface. You can think about shear strength as it relates to carriage bolts as the amount of force that can be applied to the threaded part of the bolt moving horizontally across a vertically-oriented bolt.

Force applied in this manner can cause a bolt to snap in half or cause the head of a bolt to shear off. This often occurs when the bolt is not rated for the amount of shear force applied against it. This can also happen when a bolt is exposed to shear force impacts repeatedly or when excessive shear force is applied over a long period of time. In the latter case, however, the bolt may be prone to bending and eventually breaking as opposed to quickly shearing in two.

The Dangers Of Using The Wrong Carriage Bolts

Carriage bolts are designed to be used in designs where the head of the bolt may be sunken in. This makes carriage bolts ideal for wood construction projects like decks and porches. If the carriage bolts are used without the proper shear strength rating, the strength of the project as a whole can become compromised.

This may be the case when support beams are bolted to posts and the only thing joining these elements together is the bolt. In these situations, the weight of the project rests on the bolt’s shear strength. In most cases, standard carriage bolts that are not rated highly to resist shear forces can snap under the weight. If this happens, accidents, injuries and property damage are more likely to occur.

Work With A Professional

If you aren’t clear on your needs when it comes to shear strength and bolts, you’re encouraged to work with a professional before getting started on your project, while you’re working on the project and after you’ve completed the project. A construction professional can advise you going into the project to help you select the right bolts to meet your needs. During construction, proper installation of carriage bolts and other hardware can be assessed to ensure safety. After the project is completed, your construction partner can inspect the work to point out any areas that raise concerns about safety, allowing you the chance to correct them before accidents or injuries take place.

Staying Within Code

It’s also worth noting that building codes and code enforcement can become a factor when you work with shear strength ratings. Some areas have building codes that require the use of bolts with specific shear force ratings for different projects. This becomes a bigger issue when you are building a project for commercial sale or when you are building onto a structure that you plan to sell in the future. To learn more, you’re encouraged to research building codes in your area or speak with local or state code enforcement officials to discuss your plans before getting started.