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What is a PEM® Fastener?

If you’re involved in the fabrication of sheet metal, you’ve 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 defined as, “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. The fasteners provide strong, permanent attachment in metal as thin as 0.20 mm / 0.008”. They can be installed using any parallel acting squeezing force. Additionally, they have high push-out and torque-out performance. No special mounting hole preparation is needed, such as chamfering or deburring. 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. 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.

Continue reading: MIG vs. TIG welding and Custom Part Pricing