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A standard washer is a thin round plate with a hole in the centre. They are used for two main reasons:
1. To minimise the damage to mating material as a result of nut rotation.
2. To increase the effective bearing surface of the bolt and or nut. That is, to distribute the load of a threaded fastener over a larger area to prevent damage to the bearing surfaces. The use of flange nuts and flange bolts are becoming more popular. However the washer faces are rigid and do not flex. In the conventional 2-blow heading process, the flange face is limited to 3 times the wire diameter. A rigid flange face of this diameter can still damage a soft bearing surface