What is the purpose of a shear component?

Engineered shear screws, pins, rings, and bolts are designed to provide a predictable outcome when a specific amount of force is applied. There are two main roles these components perform:

Sacrificial Components: Shear parts are designed to fail and protect equipment from potential harm should it experience a sudden impact or excessive load. For example, in the case of a motor with a rotating piece, a shear pin can be used to prevent failure to the motor should something be caught in the moving component.

Conditional Operators: Shear components can prevent a part of the device from functioning until a predetermined level of force is applied. For example, in a slickline application, a shear pin could be used to keep sliding elements in a fixed position until enough force is applied to break the pin. Once sheared, the absence of a pin allows sliding components the freedom to move, and the tool is able perform its function.

While some shear fasteners are available for purchase as commodity items, at H&W we have the ability to manufacture custom shear fasteners with a predictable shear force that will meet your application needs.

Choosing a Shear Component Material

Metal such as brass or steel are common choices for manufacturing shear components because the properties of these materials allow the components to shear completely when force is applied. Choosing material based on its mechanical properties is an essential part of the process to ensure that the component will shear when the desired level of force is applied. 360 Brass, 464 Naval Brass, and C675 Manganese Bronze are some materials of choice for producing these components because of their properties and price point.

Predictable performance is essential when producing parts that will be used in a shearing capacity, as the functionality of the machine is dependent on these components carrying out their intended jobs. When selecting a heat of material to manufacture a fastener for shearing, we pay close attention to the tensile strength, yield strength, and hardness strength. At H&W, we take every measure to select material that will achieve your desired shear force, and we ensure that material traceability is maintained throughout every part of the manufacturing process.

To learn more about how we maintain material traceability, visit our quality management resource.

Confirming a Shear Component’s Strength

Testing fixtures and procedures are necessary to determine a component’s shear force. When selecting a shear fixture and testing method, it is key to keep the end application in mind to ensure that the method replicates the way a component will shear as closely as possible. Shear testing fixtures are designed to impose mechanical stress on a sample part so the maximum shear force can be observed and measured.

To provide more accurate testing results for different application needs, fixtures can be designed to measure shear strength through a single or double shear. In the case of a single shear, the load is applied on one transverse plane, which shears the fastener into two pieces. In a double shear, the load is applied across two parallel planes, and the fastener is sheared into three pieces.


To ensure that testing results are as accurate as possible, it is necessary to create conditions for shear testing that are consistent for each sample. In effort to provide the most accurate results possible, we work with customers to clarify specific needs and expectations prior to producing parts. At H&W, shear testing is controlled by a limited group of authorized personnel to ensure that all processes and procedures are strictly followed and documented. Written procedures for testing provided by our customer are always followed when available; however, if a customer procedure is not available, we have developed standard internal procedures to guide our testing. Similarly, we have standard shear fixtures for testing, and we are also able to produce customer-designed fixtures to adhere to customer shearing requirements if specified.

At H&W, we offer on-site shear testing and reporting available up to 60,000 lbs of force, and our testing equipment is capable of both single and double shear compression testing. To further guarantee the accuracy of our test results, we certify our shear testing machine annually by an accredited third party.

Here is an example of a custom shear test report.

Custom Examples

Below you will find a few examples of shear components that we have produced and tested for our customers.

Do you need a custom shear component?