Flat washers are generally used to increase the bearing surface of a nut or fastener’s head. It spreads the clamping force over a larger area. Washers may be useful when dealing with soft materials and oversized or irregularly shaped holes. It is usually assembled around a bolt or screw, between the bearing surface of the fastener and the part to which it is attached. Flat washers are used to improve stress distribution, and to span large clearance hole.
Flat washers are commonly available in a variety of materials including aluminum, brass, nylon, silicon bronze, and stainless steel. Stainless steel flat washers are for use with austenitic stainless steel screws and nuts in general industrial applications where parts are subject to corrosion.
Stainless steels have been trusted for its capability to resist oxidation and corrosion, thanks to its chromium content. It is also known to withstand extreme temperatures that usually make ordinary materials brittle.