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What is a PEM® Fastener?

If you’re in the fabrication of sheet metal, you have probably heard the term “PEM® fastener”. What exactly does that mean? PEM® brand fasteners, designed and manufactured by PennEngineering, utilize self-clinching technology for attaching to thin sheet metal. A self-clinching fastener is “any device, usually threaded, that when pressed into ductile metal, displaces the host material around the mounting hole, causing it to cold flow into a specially designed annular recess in the shank or pilot of the fastener”.

schematic of PEM brand fasteners

[photos provided by PennEngineering]

Why PEM® Fasteners?

There are many advantages of PEM brand self-clinching fasteners. Remarkably, the fasteners provide strong, permanent attachment in metal as thin as 0.20 mm / 0.008”. Installation involves any parallel acting squeezing force. Additionally, they have high push-out and torque-out performance. Also, there is no need for special mounting hole preparation, such as chamfering or deburring. Accordingly, the reverse side remains flush with no swaged rim protrusion. PEM fasteners also have low installed cost. Notably, hardware installation occurs during the fabrication process. Consequently, there are fewer assembly steps which save the consumer time and money. Finally, PEM fasteners are typically used when a component must be readily replaced and where loose nuts and hardware aren’t accessible during the final assembly process.