There are several different types of U-bolts, so understanding which shape you will need for the top of the bolt is the first step in ordering any type of custom U-bolts. The three basic styles including the round bend, which is the most common U-bolt, along with the semi-round and the square bend options. Less commonly used is the V-bolt, which has a tented look to the top instead of the round bend.
The choice of the type of custom U-bolts has to do with the use of the bolt. The round bend is perfect for holding tubing, pipes and other types of round forms or materials. The square end on the U-bolt provides the ideal hold for square or rectangular pipes or materials, including structural components. The semi-round offers the squared shoulders with the rounded top, with this kind often used in specific applications such as trailer manufacturing and specialized fabrication.
When designing custom U-bolts, there are several key measurements to keep in mind. To help ensure you have the required measurements for the custom machining company, here is the information they will require:
Length – this is measured from the inside of the bend of the U bolt at the center point to the bottom of on leg of the bolt. This does not include the diameter of the actual bolt in the measurement.
Width – this is typically measured at the point of the U-bolt where the threads end. As the width of the U-bolt is consistent, only one width requirement is necessary. Measurements are not taken at the two legs as older bolts can be stretched from use while the top of the bolt is much stronger and will not easily deform.
Thread length – the thread length will indicate how far up the bolt the threads will go. Typically for a U-bolt, the threads are approximately half way up the legs.
Additionally, you will need to choose a material for the bolts as well as the thread type, which will be standard or metric. In some custom applications, it may be necessary to chamfer the start of the threads for easier application of the nuts.