Captive fastener suits 19-inch rack front panels

Paul Boughton
FDB Panel Fittings is introducing a novel captive Snap-Joiner that fits standard 19-inch rack 9.5 x 9.5mm cutouts and is said to be quicker and easier to use than a traditional screw with cup washer and cage nut. The Snap-Joiner is suitable for quickly installing 19-inch front panels of electronic racking and for assembling other panels where rapid assembly/removal is required.
The Snap-Joiner is simply punched into the front panel, where it is held by spring clips; this assembly is then mated to the rear panel and the Snap-Joiner core push-fitted to activate spring wedges to accommodate a clamping range of up to 5.2mm in a vibration-proof connection. Removal is also simple, with a 45-degree turn by cross-head screwdriver, thereby meeting the requirements of the Machinery Directive 2006/42/EC.
This single component therefore combines the function of a captive screw with that of a captive cage nut, without the need for specialist installation equipment. The simple push-and-snap insertion is not only faster than threaded options (by up to 90 per cent), but also minimises the risk of cross-threading and of damage to sensitive equipment in the installation process.
Snap-Joiners provide a positive clamping action, which makes them suitable for applications where tight tolerances are difficult to achieve.
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