Screws from Challenge Europe with confidence and support

Screws from Challenge Europe come in an extensive range of general and niche ex-stock products, each with its own special features. Especially they come with the strong background support of the Challenge Europe team so useful to customers seeking just a bit more than simply placing an order without the benefit of guidance and support.

For example, stainless steel machine screws and self-tapping/thread-forming screws often need special care in selection. Not so much perhaps conventional steel chipboard screws, but help is often needed at the more specialised and professionally used end of the range such as SPAX & HECOFIX screws with their special thread forms, which enables them to cut into timber without a pilot hole.

Typical problems the team are called on to sort out include self-tappers (for steel) being used with plastic components without realising that there is a designed-for-plastic range. Normal (for steel) self-tappers can bind in the hole and snap off or split the component, leading to scrappage in production and perhaps serious problems when attempting an onsite installation.

Conventional hex headed bolts & setscrews are available ex-stock in 3 grades of steel, similarly with socket head cap screws. Many products are also available in A2(304) and A4(316) grades of stainless steel. Challenge Europe personnel can advise on hole sizes, clearances, torque, head types, thread forms and suitable substrates.

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Miscellaneous consumables from Challenge Europe match Fastenings and Fixings

We are pleased with our new free brochure which covers ex-stock miscellaneous consumables to complement our ex-stock fastenings and fixings.

Anyone who uses threaded fasteners in a production or installation environment is also likely to value the support of these related materials on a one-stop-shop basis.

Obvious items include lubricants, adhesives and sealants, tools and abrasives, bearings and “O” rings, push-on fixings and through bolts. Associated consumables cover wall plugs, circlips, inserts, spacers and cable ties. On the more discrete component side, we have a great range of security screws (Hafren), pre-packs, sub-assemblies, threaded protection caps and plugs, hose clips, tool clips, wire inserts (Helicoil), plus taps, dies and drills.

Associated general products from Action Can further support engineers in their daily tasks with industrial lubricants, cleaning sprays, foams and many related aerosols such as copper grease, cutting fluids, car cleaner, anti-static spray, welders anti-spatter spray, brake and clutch cleaner, glass cleaner, chain lube (also food grade), freeze spray, electrical control cleaner, isopropyl alcohol cleaner, corrosion inhibitors, stainless steel cleaner and many more.

Explains Kevin Moorcroft: “As engineers we were determined to provide manufacturers with the sort of package that we would want for ourselves, and I believe we have done exactly that.”

For the new Challenge Europe Fastenings & Fixing brochure please contact Challenge Europe on 01234 346242, or

The right Engineers-Pin for your Project - from Challenge Europe

For what appears to be a simple product, the specification of engineering pins can be a surprisingly difficult matter. Given that most pins are used to precisely locate and/or retain components in a long-term assembly, we offer our expertise in detailing pin types, fit, tolerance, material finish and cost so that customers can find the optimum pin, and pin fitting system for their project.

Our new brochure highlights the main types of engineering pin available. These include split cotter pins, precision dowel pins, groove pins, spring tension pins, spiral pins (coiled spring pins) and taper pins. If you already know what you need then all types are carried in stock for same-day dispatch. If you need advice then the team at Challenge Europe are available to engage with your project at any stage from concept to development and production. If you are already in production then it is possible you may need to rework your specification and there too they can help.

For the new Challenge Europe Fastenings & Fixing brochure contact us on 01234 346242, or

Standard and custom washers from Challenge Europe

In our new Fastenings & Fixing brochure we discuss not only a very wide range of standard ex-stock same-day despatch washers, but we also cover special washers to customer drawings. This is highly relevant to industries as diverse as electronics and construction, also machine assembly, marine applications and aerospace.

The brochure lists flat form (A, B, C and D types), mudguard (penny) washers, spring washers in rectangular and square section, internal/external serrated tooth lock washers, crinkle, cup, Belleville/disc spring, grip, fibre and Dowty/bonded seal washers. Of special interest in the electrical industry are copper grip and brass terminal cup washers. Sealing washers in a range of materials are covered under this program, along with “O” rings.

Here at Challenge Europe we can provide washers to metric and imperial standards in materials such as steel, stainless steel, copper, brass, nylon, fibre, rubber and more sophisticated metals in a wide range of finishes.

For a copy of the brochure, contact Challenge Europe on 01234 346242, or

Rivets for production assembly or installation purposes from Challenge (Europe) Ltd

Rivets and Pins for production assembly or installation purposes are addressed in our new brochure alongside our production supply service to meet Vendor Managed Inventory (VMI), JIT, Lineside supply, Kanban or other supply chain models.

Standard or custom (and customer standard) types of rivets are offered, including Blind (POP) designs, Tubular & Semi-Tubular, Solid Rivets, Rivet Nuts, Rivet Bushes, Self-Clinching Studs, Weld Studs and Self-Clinching Nuts.

Many rivets are available with a choice of head forms from the standard dome head to large, extra-large and countersunk. A full range of setting tooling is available, including simple hand tools for smaller volume work, and sophisticated hydro-pneumatic equipment to meet intensive production line working. Blind Rivet Nuts offer the facility to provide an internally threaded attachment to the work piece in a similar way to setting a blind rivet. The rivet nuts are also available in a comprehensive range of body and head types with material options of steel, stainless steel and aluminium. They provide advantages of being able to be easily set in thin material, but have the same properties as a tapped thread in fuller thickness material. Solid Rivets are generally manufactured to suit individual customer’s requirements, and are almost infinitely variable in terms of diameter, length, head form and material type. They are considered to be amongst the strongest of the rivet types, but generally require higher setting forces.

Riveting systems are offered alongside many other threaded fasteners ex-stock for same-day despatch or as part of a manufacturing support package where customers are encouraged to take advice from the early concept stage through development to final production.

Kevin Moorcroft explains “many issues can be foreseen and dealt with at a pre-production level if the fastener supplier is involved early on. We can draw on extensive knowledge of similar engineering matters and mesh that with an awareness of cost and availability so as to optimise the solution.”

Standard threaded fasteners - technical support from Challenge Europe

The team here at Challenge Europe believe that while there are many suppliers/distributors of threaded fasteners, what most manufacturers appreciate is the willingness to follow through with tech’ support throughout the supply process.

Our new brochure provides an insight into the specialist range of products and the depth of support we can provide, from troubleshooting an existing application to defining and developing a new product. Challenge Europe can provide the technical expertise that often small to medium sized manufacturers do not have available in-house. Indeed, many large scale production facilities are increasingly finding this type of supplier relationship saves them time, money and rework.

This is exemplified by the ranges of nut products described in our brochure and website, including full nuts in all metric sizes to fit screws and bolts. Commonly available as cold forged parts but larger sizes are often bar turned from hexagonal bar. Also half nuts – otherwise referred to as lock nuts or jam nuts. These are available in steel, stainless steel or brass. They are also useful in situations where space is restricted but ultimate strength is not required.

Self-locking nuts – also known as stiff nuts and sometimes prevailing torque nuts. These are available in a range of styles but they all operate in a similar way having an interference fit mechanism that provide anti-loosening characteristics. Standard reference types include nylon insert nuts, Philidas® nuts, Binx® nuts, Aerotight® nuts and Stover nuts.

Combi nuts – sometimes known as carp nuts, these combine a plain or domed washer assembled into a hexagonal nut so saving time, operations and loss of washers. The washer offers a load spreading function and if serrated also adds to the anti-vibrational security of the assembly.

Cage nuts or captive nuts are used as a “spring-in-fit” nut in square or slotted holes in sheet steel or other rigid materials. They provide a measure of compliance for the mounting of components, e.g. M6 sizes used in 19″ racks for panel mounting.

Square nuts are frequently known as pressed nuts as they are pressed out of sheet metal – usually zinc plated steel or stainless steel. They are useful to fit in a channel, e.g. in aluminium extrusions or a steel “C” section. Also valuable where space is limited and for light assembly applications.

Tee nuts are for use with soft and semi-soft materials where the teeth can pierce and lock into the sheet, e.g. wood or plastic. They may be inserted by tapping or pressing into position where the prongs ensure a secure fit.

Weld nuts are produced with weld lugs or protrusions to enable their use with standard projection welding equipment. Formats of round, hexagonal or square geometries are available in steel or stainless steel.

Flange nuts extend the bearing surface of the nut for better load carrying – plain flange nuts and serrated flange formats are available. The serrated type has an improved anti-loosening capability.

New brochure from Challenge Europe covers Socket Screws

This new brochure available free from Challenge Europe describes our range of standard socket screws in steel and stainless steel.

Here at Challenge Europe we carry an extensive stock of Socket Head Capscrews (DIN 912), Socket Button Head Screws (ISO 7380), Countersunk Socket Screws (DIN 7991) and Socket Setscrews in cup, cone, dog and flat point styles. We also have Socket Shoulder screws, Socket Pipe Plugs and Allen keys.

Designed as they are for general engineering production situations, these screws are supported by the Challenge Europe supply chain support package, which covers Vendor Managed Inventory (VMI), Lineside supply, Kanban, JIT and other protocols to speed the component flow.

The support team at Challenge can also provide a custom special sourcing capability to meet unusual requirements leading to customer standard designations and local stockholding.

Contact us for your free brochure or to discuss your threaded fastener needs.

Manufacturers find added value from specialist fastener supplier Challenge Europe

As a Specialist fastener distributor, here at Challenge Europe we find that working closely with manufacturers pays dividends for our customers in the added value of an experienced supplier team. This results in better products, more profitably produced with shorter development cycles. As shown in our presentation viewable here at:

Where a manufacturer is able to work with us from concept to production, they have the benefit of extensive experience across many years, many industries and many production methodologies. This results in better functionality, better quality, better pricing and better operational efficiency at lower cost.

The Partnership way of working is a popular approach because it pulls together an extensive resource base of standard products, custom products and in-house production. With manufacturer and fastener supplier invested in the project at all stages a true supplier partnership can pay substantial dividends. Challenge Europe have a presentation online which demonstrates how this is achieved. Readers can view here at:

Challenge Europe explain how to specify a threaded fastener product

Threaded fasteners are still one of the most common mechanical products manufacturing companies require on a daily basis. In fact they are so common that accurate terminology is often overlooked in the specification process and the complexity of detail may not be adequately appreciated. Our team at Challenge Europe therefore focus on full conversation with users where they can guide and advise.

For example, many people are unaware of the simple difference between a bolt and a set screw, a mistake which may cost thousands of pounds in incorrect supply, replacement delays, production delays and the knock-on implications for contractual defaults or even catastrophic service failures if not corrected before ultimate use in the field.

Consequently the team at Challenge Europe have developed the experience and skill to guide customers along the path of selecting the right product for the job and helping them to understand the correct terminology to be used at the design stage or when ordering for manufacture.

Knowing the traps that can be easily fallen into, simple questions are asked that will enable us to determine what it is that the customer is looking for. It is important that even basic information is determined correctly, like how is the customer measuring the length of a product, do they realise that most male fasteners are measured from under the head, whereas countersunk fasteners are measured inclusive of the head?

In very basic terms what are the things to be kept in mind when ordering fasteners:

  1. Material – brass, steel, stainless steel etc.
  2. Grade – 4.8, 8.8, 10.9, 12.9 etc.
  3. Finish – self-colour, zinc plated, chemi-blacked, nickel plated etc.
  4. Diameter – metric or imperial
  5. Thread form – metric coarse, metric fine, BSW, UNC, UNF, BA, etc.
  6. Head form – Hexagon, Countersunk, Pan, Cheese, Cap, etc.
  7. Drive form – Socket, Multi-Lobed, Pozi, Phillips, Slotted, etc.
  8. Application – how is the fastener being used

There are of course many other factors that need to be taken into consideration at the more specialised end of the fastener range but here at Challenge Europe we are able to provide technical expertise in helping to prevent the sort of frustration and product failures possible from simple mistakes of the kind described.

Brass threaded inserts from Challenge Europe Ltd

Here at Challenge Europe we are delighted to supply ex-stock a standard range of metric and imperial brass threaded inserts for use in the manufacturing and installation industries, in order to provide a robust thread in moulded/fabricated plastic components, where the softness of the substrate precludes a tapped thread. Brass threaded inserts are a favourite for use throughout industry where they can provide a quick thread just by drilling or moulding a pilot hole and pressing the insert into place.

A well-known and much used solution to fixing onto non-metals, brass threaded inserts can often provide higher torque or pull out performance by the application of heat or ultrasonic energy to further embed the insert into its substrate.

Expansion and self-tapping inserts are also available in brass for use in plastics or in the case of wood, and some composite materials, steel and stainless self-tapping inserts can be supplied.

Contact us in Bedford to discuss your production needs.

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