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Distributor's Link Magazine Fall 2020 / Vol 43 No 4


108 THE DISTRIBUTOR’S LINK EUROLINK MAKING FUN OF DIN TO ISO CONVERSIONS from page 24 In short, the answer I gave Brian was non-pedantic, possibly a bit reductionist, but true. For essentially the same reasons fastener standards in general are so important, as discussed in the article by Laurence Claus in Distributor’s Link Volume 43. N0. 2, an international standardization for fasteners has become relevant and will obviously only become more pertinent. DIN stands for Deutsches Institut für Normung (German Institute for Standardization). As their name implies, they are a German standardization organization that has come to be internationally recognized and essentially the go-to standard for the metric fastener industry in the United States and many other countries. Before and during that climb to high market saturation, standardizing bodies for other nations, including the U.S., created similar standardizing literature to meet the needs of their own nations. While the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) has technically existed since the 1920’s, as the world has become more globalized, communications faster, and logistics more efficient, supply chains that once existed almost within the boundaries of nations are now reliant on global trade. Due to the prevalence of global supply chains, it is reasonable to consider that a fastener in Italy needs to meet the same dimensional standards for an application that is distributed in Brazil, Canada, or Taiwan. Considering the infrastructures in place for the production and distribution of fasteners at the local, regional, national, and international levels, it makes sense that stocking distributors in each of these countries would need to stock fasteners for OEMs or MROs using these parts. It also makes sense that OEMs would engineer products to require such parts as they would be available and internationally recognized, agreed upon and therefore consistent and theoretically stocked nearby. These sensible posits are theoretical because we “fastenerds” are a hard-headed bunch here in the United States. In that “Screwzapalooza” episode of Fully Threaded Radio, Eric starts off by commenting on how he enjoyed that I started off my VLOG episode on DIN 933/DIN 931 to ISO 4017/4014 conversions by having a moment of silence for DIN 933 and DIN 931. I did this because the DIN 933 and 931 standards were formally withdrawn in 1986 and given a five-year transition period, which was expected to end in 1992. Obviously, this has not stopped the pervasiveness of DIN 933 and DIN 931 hex heads within the metric fastener supply chain. Any major master distributor stocking metric fasteners in the U.S. is bound to have some M10 X 40 DIN 933 hex heads in class 8.8 steel sitting in stock that they imported by the hundreds of thousands from Asia, but what they may not have (at least stateside) is that same hex head to the ISO 4017 standard. So, even though the DIN 933 standard has been formally withdrawn and replaced by the ISO 4017 standard, over thirty years later, this change has done little to change demand. Fortunately for hex head bolts, DIN 933 and ISO 4017 are fully interchangeable at all but those four diameters: M10, M12, M14 and M22. This interchangeability does not exist for all DIN to ISO crossovers though. Some DIN standards are actually harder to source than their ISO counterparts and they are not necessarily interchangeable for all applications. Take that M10 X 40 hex head for instance. As mentioned, M10 is one of the diameters in which the dimensions are different. Due to having a different WAF (width across the flats), some applications may not be able to accept the DIN 933 hex head and therefore must look to source the ISO 4017 counterpart. A few months ago, we released a DIN to ISO conversion guide, which can be found on the Eurolink Fastener Supply Service website or in posts on our social media pages. While other guides exist, some that are even more detailed, I had not found one that covered as many product lines as the one we created. This is reasonable as they are usually released by companies for their own product lines only, therefore I found them incomplete as companies only have incentive to provide conversions for the products they carry. CONTINUED ON PAGE 152


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