How to Ensure Bolted Joint Integrity When Using a Compression Limiter in a Plastic Assembly

A comparison of the various combinations of using a flanged bolt, washer, headed and non-headed Compression Limiter to ensure bolted joint integrity in plastic assemlies.

Compression Limiter Series CL601
Compression Limiter Series CL601

Compression Limiters are used to protect plastic components in bolted joints and maintain a threaded fastener’s clamp load by eliminating plastic creep. To function properly, bearing surface beneath the bolt’s head must extend over the Compression Limiter to contact the plastic component. If this bearing surface is too small, the host component may not be retained by the bolt resulting in a poor joint.

There are several methods to ensure sufficient bearing surface under the bolt’s head. These include the use of a flanged bolt, washer, or headed
Compression Limiter.

The individual component cost, ease or complexity of assembly, and overall cost of each configuration influence which method is best suited for each application.