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Old 09-17-2005, 03:07 AM
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General Motors starts using new type of screw

Illinois Tool Works, America's largest screw-maker, just landed a contract with General Motors to start using their new screw design in GM vehicles. The design is really interesting -- tiny notches are patterned into the screw threads. The result is better gripping in plastic, which apparently eliminates the need for an insert.
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To make dies capable of pressing tiny, intricate patterns onto the threads, LeVey had to borrow a technology often used to create injection molds for detailed plastic parts. The pattern of the die is milled into a soft, graphitelike carbon. The carbon is placed next to the steel die form, and very high voltage is sent between the carbon and the steel, creating a powerful arc of heat, which vaporizes the steel in the desired pattern. "No one had bothered to take advantage of all of this new technology available to us and apply it to this very old product," LeVey says.
Full text of article is here: http://www.forbes.com/forbes/2005/0919/066_print.html

Illinois Tool Works is marketing a similar screw under the "Shakeproof" company, with the "BosScrew" brand. More info on that (and plenty of pics and specs) are here: http://www.shakeproof.com/ .

They're also working on the same technology for a machine screw, which is supposed to come out later this year.

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Old 09-17-2005, 03:27 AM
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I like the concept of a clip-less hole to fasten plastic, But the key is (at least from what I read of the first article) is that you can't over torque the screw. I also wonder how well it will hold after you take the screw back out and put it in again. Good reading , though.

In a while, Chet.
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Old 09-17-2005, 06:50 AM
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"I am free to sit and ponder." This is what thinking outside the box is all about. Like Schnitz says, what do you do when "remove and replace" is required? Bet this guy has an answer to that also, because to get a big, old company to change its ways after nearly a century of doing things a certain way, he had to have all the necessary answers and then some.

Now I am looking for a better mouse trap........

Trees
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Old 09-17-2005, 07:33 AM
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I'm surprised they didn't come out with a new head on it too. After all we've only got straight, phillips, torx, reverse torx...there must be something they could do to sell more tools.
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Old 09-17-2005, 08:04 AM
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Man Jon.I thought by the heading that GM was going to find another way to break it off in us again,with stupid plastic body panels,ugly designs and killing off of any possible chance they make a decent car again.When they killed the Camaro and Firebird off,I lost any respect for anything new they do,except for that whole Coevette thing they have going on.
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Old 09-17-2005, 08:25 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by schnitz
I also wonder how well it will hold after you take the screw back out and put it in again. Chet.
That will be interesting. Not to be a skeptic or anything, G.M and the other Manufacturers have assembly in mind, not re-assembly. Door panels come to mind, I've had a few problems there. Dan
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Old 09-17-2005, 08:27 AM
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Japan has been doing something similar for years now{since at least 87}. They take the bolt and run 6 or seven flat edges down the shank {on the outer edges of the threads}, in a slightly spirailed motion. This creates "raised" points and low areas that are essentially like the "new" screws, but they allow for removal and reinstallation.
They are used mostly for metal though, and not plastic but I don't see why this simpler and cheaper method which also allows for repairs couldn't be used instead? unless the goal is a vehicle you can't repair...
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Old 09-17-2005, 11:35 AM
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Great a fastener designed to strip out the plastic when its removed. The Japanese have been doing something similar for as long as I can remember, except you can remove the screw and reinstall it later without damage.

It's called Loctite!

The other interesting point I should make is that this fastener is made in a mold meaning its cast, how many of you have tried to install a cheap made in China screw (think of those cheap included screws you get with a new $5 venetian blind) only to have it break the head off as you were torquing to spec? Chances are it was fabricated in the same manner instead of being roll formed which makes a stronger screw. So now when it comes time to remove this new screw your chances of breaking the head off has increased 10 fold, not too mention it ripping the plastic out of the hole if you do manage to get it out.

Isn't technology fantastic, should boost the plastic divisions sales in repair parts!
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Old 09-17-2005, 02:24 PM
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good design, I think, especially from a business perspective. GM interiors are notorious for coming apart down the road about 75-100k miles. THey just start coming apart from the glue and screws that hold them together (look at any interior of a 97-2002 or so pontiac, and you'll see something coming apart). These screws will be easy to remove, but would be mostly immune to the constant door-slamming and rattles and bumps of the road (or the once flat cobble trails that we call "roads" here in detroit). Futhermore, when you do take the screws out, they probably won't hold anymore....

you'll have to buy new ones. $$$$

K
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Old 09-18-2005, 01:34 PM
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I always thought the best screw they ever used was in the finance department?
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