All You Should Know About Grommets and Washers

All You Should Know About Grommets and Washers

Grommets are everywhere around us. They are present in clothes, shoes, banners, bags, and many other products. Grommets are used in single applications and in a project that uses multiple grommets, from simple home items to complex industrial products.

In order to install these grommets, you need to have the right tools. A hammer or setting tools might be sufficient for installation if the project only requires one, two, or a few grommets. However, for bigger projects that involve hundreds of grommets, tarps, canvases, or sails, you will need advanced tools for an accurate and efficient installation.

What are grommets and their types?

Grommets are eyelets that protect or strengthen an opening in material or finished product. Made of plastic, rubber, or metal, they are designed in round, oval, square, rectangular, or elliptical shapes. The shapes and sizes vary according to the application for which they are designed.

Construction of grommets

Rubber grommets are made in one piece, while plastic and metal grommets are made in two-piece construction. Metal grommets are of three types, and each of them mates with a washer. First, there are plain grommets and washers that have a flat washer and domed grommets without any teeth. Another type of grommets are rolled grommets and washers with interlocking teeth and spurs. Rolled grommets are less common but are made for heavy-duty applications. In addition, self-piercing grommets can pierce a material without the need to punch a hole.

Materials used in the making of grommets

Numerous types of metal, plastic, and rubber are used to create grommets. Brass has outstanding electrical conductivity, excellent corrosion resistance, good bearing qualities, exceptional hot temperature ductility, decent cold ductility, good strength, and low magnetic permeability. Nickel is combined with one or more other metals, such as copper, to form nickel alloys. Under the right circumstances, steel, a commercial iron that may include up to 1.7 percent carbon, is malleable. It differs from cast iron due to both its malleability and lower carbon content. Stainless steel can withstand relatively high-pressure ratings and is resistant to corrosion and chemicals.

Why are grommets used?

Grommets are used to protect the holes and openings in thin materials like metal sheets, fabrics, and carbon fiber. Grommets are used in materials to support and strengthen the openings for inserting rope, wire, or cord in them as per the requirements. In addition, they are used in materials and products where hole reinforcement is required to prevent fraying.

How grommets are different from eyelets

Given how similar eyelets and grommets are to one another, many individuals have some misconception regarding their differences. Many people don't consider the distinction between the two unless they work in the printing or sewing industries.

An eyelet is a tiny piece of metal (nearly identical to a grommet), but instead of being used on vinyl, Sintra board, or coroplast, it is used to reinforce a hole in the fabric. Brass is the most common material for eyelets, and they frequently include a decorative edge known as a flange.

The fact that eyelets and grommets both reinforce holes is a similarity between them. Typically, grommets are utilized on materials that are more duty than standard fabric.

Grommets are primarily used in heavy-duty, maritime, awnings, and banners. They are used with a washer to hold them in place. Eyelets are used without a washer in lighter applications like garments and shoelaces. It can be perplexing when little grommets are referred to as eyelets.

Applications of grommets

There are numerous uses for grommets in the home, workplace, and industry. Grommets are often used on various items, including boat and car covers, as well as laces for shoes, curtains, and tarps. The requirements of a project determine how to use a grommet on a product.

Types of grommets and washers

Various grommets and washers are designed for use in different applications. Here are the different types of grommets and washers available.

Metal grommets with standard washers

There are sheet metal grommets with plain washers in materials where a hole is pre-punched. They are also used in applications where the equipment is designed to cut a hole and set it automatically. These grommets are available at a fair price but are suitable for only a few applications.

Metal grommets with teeth washers

These are made of metal sheets but have teeth designed to grasp the fabric firmly, especially the woven materials. The teeth are made on the washer to offer a firm grasp to the grommet and prevent it from spinning after it is set in the fabric.

Metal grommets with neck washers

These grommets use a barrel-to-barrel type telescopic construction. Neck washers are made to replace plain washers in grommet machines for feeding and setting of grommet and washer. The neck of the washer allows it to be guided down to a track.

Rolled rim grommets with spur washers

These grommets offer the highest strength in setting as they are made of thick metal. When rolled rim grommets are set, the spurs on their washer pass through the material and are fixed in the rim. The spurs also prevent the grommet from spinning in the material. They are usually used in applications with heavy usages, such as outdoor flags and traps.

Rolled-rim grommets are used in applications where grommets need to tolerate stress during insertion into the material. The rolled rims of the grommet create a fine and attractive look for which they are sometimes used in clothing for a clean appearance.

Self-piercing grommets

Self-piercing grommets are designed to pierce and set in the material without punching a hole. They are designed to punch holes in fabrics by pinching the fabric between the grommet barrel and the washer's flat edge. Once they are set in the material, they function similarly to plain washers and grommets.

Some fabrics are thick, like thick webbing. They are difficult to be pierced or cut, and forcing the grommet to pierce the fabric can damage the fabric or grommet. In the case of thick fabrics, it is suggested to use plain grommets or use a special tool to pierce the fabric before using the grommet.

Self-piercing grommets are good to use on thin fabric, paper, and vinyl applications as they allow using a single-step setting without the need to create a pre-punched hole. Here are the grommet tools to help with the installation of grommets and washers.

Marine-grade steel grommets

The marine-grade steel grommets are specially made for applications like boats and vessels that operate in the aquatic environment and require corrosion resistance. These grommets come with durable spur washers and are available at economical prices. Ideal for use in boats, tarps, and awnings, the marine-grade steel grommets are not affected by water and moisture. Therefore, they can be used in products made to use in high moisture environments.

Summing up

Grommets and washers are highly useful for keeping fabrics and other materials in place. Used mostly in commercial and industrial applications, they are important elements you can see in the products you use in daily life. They protect the fabrics and other materials and offer a long lasting user of the opening without damaging the material. Grommets and washers make the user of products a lot easier in our daily lives.